A European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) is an opportunity for the municipalities of the European Union to achieve their joint objectives through cross-border cooperation.
International initiatives often face difficulties due to divergent laws or lack of regulations. The same applies for cross-border initiatives, although cooperation of local actors (municipalities and economic operators) from both sides of a border is essential to realize the full potential of a cross-border region and thus for the improvement of the quality of life there.
In order to facilitate territorial cooperation and thereby to strengthen economic and social cohesion of its members, the European Union has designed the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), the first European cooperation structure with a legal personality defined by European Law. The purpose of the EGTC is to ensure non-discrimination, namely local actors on both sides of the border shall enjoy the same opportunities.
An EGTC brings together municipalities, regional authorities or economic operators from at least two countries and are tasked to implement cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation programmes or projects in one or more fields of cooperation. EGTC members associate for long-term cooperation which goes beyond project frames and as such, offers the opportunity to introduce even cross-border (public) services, or adopt innovative initiatives with new approaches.
Today the EU has more than 65 EGTCs. The majority of the groupings bring together cross-border territories, the 21 EGTCs operating in Hungary cover almost all borders of the country.
An EGTC is established and defined by the Regulation (EC) 1082/2006, amended by Regulation (EU) No 1302/2013.
This Regulation is complemented by national provisions adopted by each Member State of the EU.