SaarLorLux


SaarLorLux

SaarLorLux or Saar-Lor-Lux, (French also "SarLorLux"), a portmanteau of Saarland, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Wallonia, is a Euroregion of five different municipalities located in four different European states. The term has also been applied to cooperations of several of these municipalities or of their subdivisions, administrations, organizations, clubs and people. Member regions represent different political structures: the sovereign state of Luxembourg; Belgium's Wallonia, comprising the French and German speaking parts of Belgium; Lorraine, a region of France; the French départements Moselle and Meurthe-et-Moselle; and the German federal states of Saarland and Rhineland Palatinate.

There is no well-defined structure of SaarLorLux nor even an exclusive definition of its size. Instead, there exist multiple forms of cooperation and contractual relations among all or several members. Sometimes instead of SaarLorLux, the term " 'Greater Region' " is used, short for the more formal " 'Greater Region of Saarland, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Wallonia and (Western-) Rhineland-Palatinate.' "

The member regions

hared history

The region of SaarLorLux was settled by the Celtic tribes of the Treveri and Mediomatrici. The Treveri lived in the south of Belgium, Luxembourg, western Rhineland-Palatinate, and northern Saarland. Lorraine and the southern Saarland were inhabited by the Mediomatrici. [Citation
last =government of luxemburg representing the summit of the greater region and the regional commission Saar-Lor-Lux-Trier/Westpfalz
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Die Grossregion / Historisches
date =2007-06-28
year =2007
url =http://www.granderegion.net/de/grande_region/index_history.html
accessdate = 2007-06-28
] Both tribes were conquered during the Gallic Wars by the Roman legions of Julius Caesar. The area became part of the Roman provinces of Gallia Belgica, Germania Superior, and Germania Inferior.

Barbarian invasions forced the enfeebled Roman Empire to abandon possession of the area in the fifth century. Now, the region became a part of the Frankish Empire. After the death of Louis the Pious, in 840, the Carolingians adhered to the Germanic custom of partible inheritance, and the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the empire into three. Louis' eldest surviving son Lothair I became Emperor and ruler of the central Franks. His three sons in turn divided this kingdom among them into Lotharingia, Burgundy and (Northern) Italy. [Citation
last =Bartleby com
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Verdun, Treaty of
date =2005
year =2005
url =http://www.bartleby.com/65/ve/Verdun-T.html
accessdate =
] The core area of SaarLorLux lies within the borders of this old Lotharingia. [Citation
last =government of luxemburg representing the summit of the greater region and the regional commission Saar-Lor-Lux-Trier/Westpfalz
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Die Grossregion / Historisches
date =2007-06-28
year =2007
url =http://www.granderegion.net/de/grande_region/index_history.html
accessdate = 2007-06-28
] The struggle to gain control over this Lotharingia should be the cause of centuries of struggle and war [Citation
last =government of luxemburg representing the summit of the greater region and the regional commission Saar-Lor-Lux-Trier/Westpfalz
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Die Grossregion / Historisches
date =2007-06-28
year =2007
url =http://www.granderegion.net/de/grande_region/index_history.html
accessdate = 2007-06-28
] between the two other franconian kingdoms, which later formed the states of France and Germany.

Until 18th century the whole area stayed part of the Holy Roman Empire. Then the region was divided. Lorraine became French, Luxembourg an independent state and the Walloon Region was a part of the new Kingdom of Belgium. The predecessors of Saarland and Rhineland Palatinate were part of Prussia and Bavaria.

As a result of these proceedings, the inhabitants of the region found themselves on different sides of the battlefields of the Franco Prussian War of 1870-71, World War I and World War II. The region was divided by the fortifications of the Maginot line and the Westwall. Parts of the region, Saarland, Lorraine and the German-speaking community of Belgium even had to change sides (in the case of Saarland and Lorraine, four times). Today's borders were established in 19th and 20th century. [Citation
last =government of luxemburg representing the summit of the greater region and the regional commission Saar-Lor-Lux-Trier/Westpfalz
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Die Grossregion / Historisches
date =2007-06-28
year =2007
url =http://www.granderegion.net/de/grande_region/index_history.html
accessdate = 2007-06-28
]

Today, the greater region is situated along both sides of the border between German and French language. 11,182,975 people live in an area of about 65,400 km².Situated in the center of the European Union it contains high populated urban parts along the rivers, formed by industry, especially mining and steelwork and rural parts, dominated by agriculture.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a sovereign nation with full autonomy and complete power of decision. Each of the four départements of the French region of Lorraine is twice the size of the whole nation of Luxembourg.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has a population of 476 187 people [cite web
last =Zentrale Datenverarbeitungsstelle für des Saarland pour l'hébergement du site.
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Structure de la population
work =
publisher =Offices statistiques de la Grande Région
date =2007-10-26
url =http://grossregion.saarland.de/pages/StatTemplate.aspx?view=stat&id=621
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-08
] in an area of 2586 square kilometres [cite web
last =Zentrale Datenverarbeitungsstelle für des Saarland pour l'hébergement du site.
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Zonages géographiques et superficies
work =
publisher =Offices statistiques de la Grande Région
date =2007-10-26
url =http://grossregion.saarland.de/pages/StatTemplate.aspx?view=stat&id=363
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-08
] (998 sq mi). Luxembourg is a parliamentary representative democracy with a constitutional monarchy, ruled by a Grand Duke. It is the world's only sovereign Grand Duchy. The country has a highly developed economy, with the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in the world.

The city of Luxembourg, the capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the European Union. Luxembourg lies on the cultural divide between Romance Europe and Germanic Europe, borrowing customs from each of the distinct traditions. Luxembourg is a trilingual country; French, German, and Luxembourgish are official languages. Although a secular state, Luxembourg is predominantly Roman Catholic.Until 1867, the city of Luxembourg, the Gibraltar of the north, was a federal fortress of the German confederation [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Gibraltar of the North | date= | publisher=Luxembourg city tourist office | url =http://www.lcto.lu/html_en/history/gibraltar_north.html | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-01-23 | language = ] . In 20th century, Luxembourg was twice occupied by German armies.In the middle of 20th century, the economy of Luxembourg was dominated by iron and steel industry. [cite news | first=Jürgen | last=Malley | coauthors= | title=Konturen des wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Strukturwandels am Beispiel verschiedener Regionen | date=February 2001 | publisher=Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | url =http://library.fes.de/fulltext/fo-wirtschaft/00954003.htm#E10E4 | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-01-23 | language = ] Then, a structural change took place, which transformed the country to an international financial center with more than 200 banks and over 800 financial institutions and insurance companies, generating more than 20 % of the GNP of Luxembourg. [cite news | first=Jürgen | last=Malley | coauthors= | title=Konturen des wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Strukturwandels am Beispiel verschiedener Regionen | date=February 2001 | publisher=Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | url =http://library.fes.de/fulltext/fo-wirtschaft/00954003.htm#E10E4 | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-01-23 | language = ] Today about 66 % of the employees are working in the service sector, less than 2 % work in the steel industry.

aarland and Rhineland-Palatinate

The German states of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate are part of the federal system of Germany. They hold far ranging authorities, although some decisions concerning international treaties are assigned to the federal government. [Citation
last =Brücher
first =Wolfgang
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Grenzraum Saar-Lor-Lux - eine Modellregion für Europa?
date =2001-12-0909
year =2001
url =http://www.geographie.uni-marburg.de/parser/parser.php?file=/deuframat/deutsch/5/5_2/bruecher/kap2.htm
accessdate = 2007-06-28
]

aarland

. It has an area of 2570 km² and 1.051 million inhabitants. [Citation
last =government of luxemburg representing the summit of the greater region and the regional commission Saar-Lor-Lux-Trier/Westpfalz
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Die Partner / Saarland
date =2007-06-28
year =2007
url =http://www.granderegion.net/de/partners/index_D478FD421B5646158CA8ECD6199C483A.html
accessdate = 2007-06-28

] In both area and population it is the smallest of the German "Flächenländer" ("area states"), i.e., those that are not City States (Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg).

It is named after the Saar River, which is a tributary of the Moselle River (a Rhine tributary) and runs through the state from the south to the northwest. One third of the land area of the Saarland is covered by forest, one of highest percentages in Germany. The state is generally hilly, the highest mountain is the Dollberg with a height of 695.4 m (about 2,280 feet).

Most inhabitants live in a city agglomeration on the French border, surrounding the capital of Saarbrücken.In 1919, Saarland was created of the communes, where the steelworks and coal mines were located and the workers lived, which were required to operate these industries.From 1920 to 1935 and from 1947 to 1956, Saarland was economically affiliated with France. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Geschichte des Saarlandes im Überblick | date= | publisher=Saarland Chancellery of State Public relations office | url =http://www.saarland.de/geschichte.htm | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-01-23 | language = ] In 1957, 65.000 persons were employed in 18 coal mines, in 2006 only 6300 in one mine were left. [cite news | first=Daniel | last=Gluche | coauthors= | title=An der Saar fehlt die Kohle | date=2006 | publisher=saar.economy | url =http://bayern-economy.com/web/index.php?cid=2⊂=1&id=1021&recommend=true&PHPSESSID=d3d375bef8c29e529c67882a2689c9ef | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-01-23 | language = ] A comparable process happened with the steelworks.

Rhineland-Palatinate

Rhineland-Palatinate is another one of the 16 Bundesländer (federal states) of Germany. It has an area of 19,846 km² and about 4.048. million [cite web
last =Usczeck
first =Malte
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Fast 4.000 Einwohner weniger - Bevölkerungszahl im ersten Halbjahr weiter rückläufig
work =
publisher =Statistisches Landesamt Rheinland Pfalz
date =2007-10-13
url =http://www.statistik.rlp.de/bev/presse/pm07156.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-08
] inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate was established on 30 August 1946.

The main axis of the state is the Rhine river, that forms the border with Baden-Württemberg and Hesse in the southeast before running across the northern part of Rhineland-Palatinate.The Rhine Valley is bounded by mountain chains and forms a fascinating landscape containing some of the most historically significant places in Germany.

The Eifel and Hunsrück mountain chains are found on the west bank of the Rhine in northern Rhineland-Palatinate, while the Westerwald and Taunus mountains are found on the east bank. The hilly lands in the southernmost region of the state are called the Palatinate forest ("Pfälzerwald").

These mountain chains are separated from each other by the following tributaries of the Rhine: the Moselle ("Mosel"), the Lahn and the Nahe.

Economic prosperous zones exist along the eastern borders, while in the western part of the state, there are structurally backward, rural regions [cite book | last = Hamann | first = Silke | authorlink = | coauthors = Daniel Jahn, Matthias Rau, Rüdiger Wapler | title = Vergleichende Analyse von Länderarbeitsmärkten, Länderstudie Rheinland-Pfalz | publisher = Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung der Bundesagentur für Arbeit | date = 2005 | location = Nürnberg | pages = 22 | url = http://doku.iab.de/regional/RPS/2005/regional_rps_0105.pdf | doi = | id = | isbn = ] .

Lorraine

Lorraine consists of four départements, Moselle, Meurthe et Moselle, Meuse and Vosges. Each of them is as big as Luxembourg and the Saarland together. Two of these départements Vosges in the south and Meuse in the west only have small interests in the region, because they are far away from the shared border. [Citation
last =Brücher
first =Wolfgang
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Grenzraum Saar-Lor-Lux - eine Modellregion für Europa?
date =2001-12-0909
year =2001
url =http://www.geographie.uni-marburg.de/parser/parser.php?file=/deuframat/deutsch/5/5_2/bruecher/kap2.htm
accessdate = 2007-06-28
] Together, they have a population of about 2.338 million people [cite web
last =Zentrale Datenverarbeitungsstelle für des Saarland pour l'hébergement du site.
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Structure de la population
work =
publisher =Offices statistiques de la Grande Région
date =2007-10-26
url =http://grossregion.saarland.de/pages/StatTemplate.aspx?view=stat&id=621
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-08
] on 23,547 km2. [cite web
last =Zentrale Datenverarbeitungsstelle für des Saarland pour l'hébergement du site.
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Zonages géographiques et superficies
work =
publisher =Offices statistiques de la Grande Région
date =2007-10-26
url =http://grossregion.saarland.de/pages/StatTemplate.aspx?view=stat&id=363
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-08
] Lorraine is part of the centralistic system of France. Therefore many of the decisions, necessary for cooperation have to be given the blessing of the central government in Paris. Lorraine ( _de. Lothringen) is one of the 26 "régions" of France. Its two main cities are Metz (administrative capital) and Nancy (historical capital). The region's name is derived from the medieval Lotharingia.

The current "région" of Lorraine is larger than the historical duchy of Lorraine which gradually came under French sovereignty between 1737 and 1766. The modern "région" includes provinces and areas that were historically separate from the duchy of Lorraine proper. These are:
* Barrois
* Three Bishoprics
* several small principalities which were still part of the Holy Roman Empire at the time of the French Revolution.

Lorraine borders the French regions of Franche-Comté, Alsace, and Champagne-Ardenne. The location of Lorraine led to it being seen as a strategic asset and as the crossroads of four nations, it had a very important role in European affairs. Lorraine also has many rivers run through it, which include the Rhine, Moselle, Meurthe, and Meuse.

From 1871 to 1918 and during World War II, Lorraine was part of Germany. During the last 40 years, most the job in the former dominant industries of steelwork, coal mining and textile got lost [cite book | last = Saarland, Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Operationelles Programm zur grenzüberschreitenden Zusammenarbeit "Großregion" | publisher = | date = February 8, 1007 | location = Saarbrücken | pages = 12 / 20 | url = http://www.saarland.de/dokumente/thema_standort_saarland/OP-GR-24-10-07.PDF | doi = | id = | isbn = ] .

Wallonia

Wallonia with its five provinces and two communities has far reaching competencies in relation to economics, infrastructure, regional planning and foreign trade.

Wallonia occupies the southern part of Belgium. It has an area of 16 844 km² [cite web
last =Zentrale Datenverarbeitungsstelle für des Saarland pour l'hébergement du site.
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Zonages géographiques et superficies
work =
publisher =Offices statistiques de la Grande Région
date =2007-10-26
url =http://grossregion.saarland.de/pages/StatTemplate.aspx?view=stat&id=363
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-08
] (55.18% of Belgium) with 3.436 million inhabitants [cite web
last =Zentrale Datenverarbeitungsstelle für des Saarland pour l'hébergement du site.
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Structure de la population
work =
publisher =Offices statistiques de la Grande Région
date =2007-10-26
url =http://grossregion.saarland.de/pages/StatTemplate.aspx?view=stat&id=621
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-08
] and comprises the following provinces:
*Hainaut
*Liège
*Luxembourg
*Namur
*Walloon Brabant

French is the official language in most municipalities. German (with facilities for speakers of French) is the official language in nine eastern municipalities which belonged to Germany until 1918 and now form the German-speaking Community of Belgium. Several French-speaking municipalities have facilities in Dutch or German (or both). In a survey conducted by the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-La-Neuve and published in June 2006, only 19% of Walloons stated that they were able to speak Dutch. In contrast, 59% of respondents from the Flemish Community claimed to speak French. [Citation
last =Nederlandse Taalunie
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Slechts 19 procent van de Walen spreekt Nederlands
date =2006-6-12
year =2006
url =http://taalunieversum.org/nieuws/1349/
accessdate = 2007-06-28
] From the mid seventies the number of jobs in coal mines and steelworks was reduced from 135.000 to 35.000 today, but still, these industries are dominating the region. [cite book | last = Saarland, Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Operationelles Programm zur grenzüberschreitenden Zusammenarbeit "Großregion" | publisher = | date = February 8, 1007 | location = Saarbrücken | pages = 19 | url = http://www.saarland.de/dokumente/thema_standort_saarland/OP-GR-24-10-07.PDF | doi = | id = | isbn = ] The region heavily depends on subsidies, paid by Flanders, the other Belgian region.

Development of the cooperation

The beginnings of SaarLorLux

Founding members of the Saar Lor Lux region are the national state of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the German federal state Saarland and the French region of Lorraine. This classic Saar Lor Lux region spreads over an aera of 36.700 km² with about 4.7 million inhabitants.

The term "Saar-Lor-Lux" was formed in 1969 by Dr. Hubertus Rolshoven, [Citation
last =Saarländischer Rundfunk
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Wie groß ist Saar-Lor-Lux?
date =2005-02-14
year =2005
url =http://www.sr-online.de/landleute/1424/311767.html
accessdate =2007-06-28

] founding president or the IRI ("Institut Régional Intracommunautaire", now " Institute of the Greater Region") and president of Saarberg, the former organization of coal mines in the Saarland. The term recalls the close historical and economic ties among the coal mines and steelworks of Saarland, Lorraine and Luxembourg, creating a unified economic region. [Citation
last =Saarländischer Rundfunk
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Wie groß ist Saar-Lor-Lux?
date =2005-02-14
year =2005
url =http://www.sr-online.de/landleute/1424/311767.html
accessdate =2007-06-28
] Facing the same severe economic problems (crisis of steel and coal) the partners began informal talks, how to solve the shared problems and how to improve the region. In the seventies, these talks began to be more formalized, when official governmental commissions, first between France and Germany only, then including Luxembourg, began their work [cite web
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Geschichte der SaarLorLux-Kooperation
work =
publisher =Government of the Saarland
date =2007-12-9
url =http://www.saarland.de/3558.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-12-09
] .

Formal "founding act" of Saar Lor Lux is an agreement of the governments of the French Republic (Republique Francaise), the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Grand-Duché de Luxembourg) concerning the collaboration in the border regions, made on October 16.1980. This agreement is the legal base of a boundary crossing cooperation of administrations and institutions to promote the economic, cultural, touristic and social development of the region.

Enlargement


=The treaties and agreements of SaarLorLux [cite web
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Geschichte der SaarLorLux-Kooperation
work =
publisher =Government of the Saarland
date =2007-12-9
url =http://www.saarland.de/3558.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-12-09
] =

Step by step the original exclusive cooperation of Saarland, Lorraine and Luxembourg was developed to the Greater Region of Saarland, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Wllonia and Rhineland Palatinate. Additional members are the Belgian region of Wallonia, the French-speaking Belgians, the German-speaking Belgians and the German state Rhineland Palatinate. These new members did not enter every instrument of collaboration. There was no formal process of enlargement, which included new regions within all aspects of the cooperation of SaarLorLux. The additional members only joined single treaties or aspects of cooperation. The different cooperations use the term SaarLorLux to describe different volume expansions of the region. Other meanings include the western parts of Rhineland Palatinate, some the whole of Rhineland Palatinate and the Walloon Region.

Therefore, there is not one all embracing structure any more. In the beginning, SaarLorLux was an informal cooperation of three different regions. Now, there are different bilateral and multilateral treaties among different members, creating different grades of cooperation without clear separation from each other.

Terminology

There is no standardized definition of SaarLorLux. The term SaarLorLux refers to several different geographical structures

*The original term only includes the founding members, the three regions of Saarland, Lorraine and Luxembourg, the so called triangle of coal and steel industries. [Citation
last =Saarländischer Rundfunk
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Wie groß ist Saar-Lor-Lux?
date =2005-02-14
year =2005
url =http://www.sr-online.de/landleute/1424/311767.html
accessdate =2007-06-28
]

*It also refers to the cooperation of these regions with the regions of Walloon Region and Rhineland Palatinate or parts of these two additional regions.
**One of these combinations, called SaarLorLux, is Saarland-Lorraine-Luxembourg-Trier-Westpfalz. Trier and Westpfalz are the western parts of Rhineland-Palatinate. For example there is a SaarLorLux-ticket, which can be used on all trains of this greater region. [Citation
last =Hüske
first =Mathias
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =DB Vertrieb GmbH
title =Das Saar-Lor-Lux-Ticket
date =
year =2007
url =http://www.bahn.de/regional/view/saar/bahnregional/freizeit/saarlorluxticket.shtml
accessdate =2007-06-28
]

**Another combination is Saarland, Lothringen, Luxembourg, Walloon Region, Rhineland, Palatinate or Saarland, Lothringen, Luxembourg, French community of Belgium, German speaking community of Belgium.

There is no strict contour of the single combinations, because all the institutions and cooperations do not base on no single treaties, creating such a combination but a multitude of treaties with different combinations of members and additions of memberships.

The official name of government organizations usually uses the names of all participants. The summit of the SaarLorLux region for excample has the official name: Summit of the greater region Saarland, Lothringen, Luxembourg, Walloon Region, French community of Belgium, German speaking community of Belgium. There, Walloon Region is mentioned twice, because the Walloon Region and its two subregions are member of this summit.

There is only one common attribute. Almost all the meanings of SaarLorLux include the three original members and exclude all other regions except the five members or parts of them. [Citation
last =Saarländischer Rundfunk
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Wie groß ist Saar-Lor-Lux?
date =2005-02-14
year =2005
url =http://www.sr-online.de/landleute/1424/311767.html
accessdate =2007-06-28
]

There are many alternative names: SaarLorLux +, Saar-Lor-Lux-Westpfalz-Trier, Saar-Lor-Lux Wallonie Rheinland Pfalz, Greater region. These were created, because the representants of the Walloon Region and Rhineland Palatinate wanted to be represented in the name too.

Today, especially the government of Luxembourg tries to call the greater region Saarland, Lothringen, Luxembourg, Walloon Region, French community of Belgium, German speaking community of Belgium only "greater region", [Citation
last =
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =
date =
year =
url =
accessdate =
] but within and outside the European Union, several greater regions begin to develop. For excample in the greater region of Switzerland, Alsace Baden-Wuerttemberg the use of "the greater region" refers to this region. There is no realistic chance of an international restriction of the term "greater region" to only one collaboration of regions. This use of greater region is no real name, it only avoids the use of the name. The citizens of the region use greater region only as a description of the collaboration, they call SaarLorLux. [None of these efforts to replace the name SaarLorLux became widely accepted. Citation
last =Brücher
first =Wolfgang
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Grenzraum Saar-Lor-Lux - eine Modellregion für Europa?
date =2001-12-0909
year =2001
url =http://www.geographie.uni-marburg.de/parser/parser.php?file=/deuframat/deutsch/5/5_2/bruecher/kap5.htm
accessdate = 2007-06-28
]

Organization of SaarLorLux

There is a great number of governmental, non governmental and mixed cooperation. The SaarLorLux cooperation between five partners. In fact, the cooperations consists of a multitude of single cooperations, treaties and organizations. The single cooperations even do not consist of the same members, because some of the regions do not participate in every cooperation or are represented by different political municipalities. For excample, besides Wallonie, the governments of the two language groups or even of single provinces are participating and besides Lorraine, the départements are partners of some of the treaties. These forms of cooperation created a lot of different organizations.

Governmental Cooperations

ummit Conferences

Basing on a decision of 1994 there are regular summit conferences.

The participants are:
* (le premier ministre du Grand Duché de Luxembourg)
* (der Ministerpräsident des Saarlandes)
* (der Ministerpräsident von Rheinland-Pfalz)
* (le Ministre-Président de la Région Wallonne)
* (le Ministre-Président de la Communauté française de Belgique)
* (der Ministerpräsident der deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft Belgiens)
* (le préfet de la région Lorraine)
* (le président du conseil régional de Lorraine)
* (le président du conseil general du département de la Moselle)
* (le président du conseil general du département de Meurthe-et-Moselle)

This summit conference is the central political organ of the interregional cooperation of the enlarged Saar Lor Lux region. [cite book
last = Geppert
first =Joachim
authorlink =
coauthors =Frédéric Chomard, Dominique Neuhauss, Peter Pfahler, Eva Hartz
title =Regionalprofil Saar-Lor-Lux-Rheinland-Pfalz
publisher =EURES Transfrontalier Sar--Lor--Lux--Rheinland--Pfalz
date = 2002
location = Saarbrücken
pages =67
url =http://www.wec-europa.org/download/regionalprofil_2002.pdf
doi =
id =
]

Its task is the predefinition and declaration of general political decision. The conference takes care of problems and questions concerning the cooperation and gives suggestions on solutions and developments. [cite web
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =SaarLorLux
work =
publisher =Government of the Saarland
date =2007-06-28
url =http://www.saarland.de/3362.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-06-28
] There is a group of delegates of the members, who form a standing committee to be able to come to decisions in times between the conferences, to prepare conferences , to translate the general ideas of the conferences into practical work and to control the task groups, appointed by the conference.

The Regional Commission

The Regional Commission is forum for all kinds of topics. Members are:
* Lorraine,
* Luxembourg
* Saarland
* (the western parts of) Rhineland-Palatinate
* Walloon Region (after being observer until 2005)

Each of the five members sends a delegation, led by a head of delegation and supported by a delegation secretary. [cite web
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Regionalkommission SaarLorLux-Trier/Westpfalz-Wallonien
work =
publisher =Government of the Saarland
date =2007-06-28
url =http://www.saarland.de/3366.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-06-28
] Within the French delegation there is a high representation of the central state, because many of the subjects of the commission are topics, within the responsibility of the central state.

The Regional Commission meets once a year in formal session with prepared documents and resolutions. The sessions are presided by a chairman from one of the members. Every year another member provides the chairman. Each delegation consists of five or ten members. In addition to the formal session the heads of delegation have informal meetings, prepared by the delegation secretaries.The Regional Commission does not have employees or funds of its own. Necessary expenses are directly paid by the members. The delegation providing the chairman also provides the necessary workforce.

There are working parties, which form the operational part of the Regional Commission, reporting on a regular basis to the Regional Commission. Their topics are: Economic affairs; Road links, transport and communications; Environment; Social affairs; Culture; Higher education; Regional planning; Tourism; Security and prevention; Education; Regional planning.

The regional commission formed a working group of the statistics agencies and a working group of the land surveying office. The results of the working group of the statistics agencies can be viewed at http://www.grande-region.lu/flash_version.aspx

Interregional Parliamentary Council

The 1986 the Presidents of
,
,
the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag,

of the (Belgian) Province of Luxembourg (later replaced by the Walloon Regional Council)
formed the interregional parliamentary council. [cite book
last = Geppert
first =Joachim
authorlink =
coauthors =Frédéric Chomard, Dominique Neuhauss, Peter Pfahler, Eva Hartz
title =Regionalprofil Saar-Lor-Lux-Rheinland-Pfalz
publisher =EURES Transfrontalier Sar--Lor--Lux--Rheinland--Pfalz
date = 2002
location = Saarbrücken
pages =69
url =http://www.wec-europa.org/download/regionalprofil_2002.pdf
doi =
id =
]

This council promotes the economic, social and cultural role of the Saar-Lor-Lux Greater Region and tries to develop a perspective for crossborder cooperation.

Participants are the five presidents and six appointed members of each the parliaments and assemblies within SaarLorLux. [cite book
last = Geppert
first =Joachim
authorlink =
coauthors =Frédéric Chomard, Dominique Neuhauss, Peter Pfahler, Eva Hartz
title =Regionalprofil Saar-Lor-Lux-Rheinland-Pfalz
publisher =EURES Transfrontalier Sar--Lor--Lux--Rheinland--Pfalz
date = 2002
location = Saarbrücken
pages =69
url =http://www.wec-europa.org/download/regionalprofil_2002.pdf
doi =
id =
] They meet once a year. Five standing committees report to the council:

*the committee on economic affairs,
*the committee on social affairs,
*the committee on transport and communications,
*the committee on the environment and agriculture,
*the committee on education, training, research and culture.

Administrative cooperations

The University Charter

In October 1984 seven establishments in Saar-Lor-Lux signed a University cooperation agreement (the Charter) at Pont-à-Mousson. [Citation
first =Universität des Saarlandes, Institut für Rechtsinformatik (translator)
last =
author-link =
first2 =
last2 =
author2-link =
editor-last =
editor-first =
editor2-last =
editor2-first =
contribution =
contribution-url =
title =Charta Universitärer Zusammenarbeit Saar-Lor-Lux
year =1987
pages =
place =Pont-à-Mousson
publisher =Universität des Saarlandes
url =http://www.uni-saarland.de/mediadb/Kooperationen/charta.pdf
doi =
id =

] This was the first step towards crossborder cooperation research and education.

Members of the Charter are:

* Belgium/Walloon Region (Province of Luxembourg): Luxembourg University Foundation (Arlon)

* Germany (Western Palatinate and Saarland): Rhineland-Palatinate University Institute: ( Idar-Oberstein, Kaiserslautern and Trier), Saar University (Saarbrücken and Homburg), College of Technology and Economics (Saarbrücken)

* France (Lorraine region): Metz University, Metz National School of Engineering (ENIM), Nancy University I and II, Lorraine Polytechnic Institute (Nancy (INPL)
* Luxembourg : University center of Luxembourg.

These universities try to - encourage relations between the parties to the Charter, - exchange teachers, scientists and students, - develop inter-regional study programmes leading to common degrees- establish common research structures.- cooperate on the sectors of law, French and German literature, geography, environmental science, computer science, materials science, history, culture and sports. [cite web
last =Michel
first =Bernd
authorlink =
coauthors =Ralf Christmann
title = La charte charta
work =
publisher =Universität Trier
date =2006-08-03
url =http://www.charta.uni-trier.de/
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-01-11
]

European cultural capital 2007

Luxemburg and the SaarLorLux region are the European cultural capital 2007.Now for one year there is a combined cultural program, sharing the motto: Crossing borders together. [cite web
last =studio Martial Damblant / Alexandre Jankowski
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Luxembourg and Greater Region, European capital of culture 2007
work =
publisher =Luxembourg et Grande Région, Capitale européenne de la Culture 2007
date =2007-06-28
url =http://www.luxembourg2007.org/GB/pres.php
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-06-29

] This programme shall, reflect the creativity, the energy and the common future of this European region.

The House of the Greater Region

In November 1999 the House of the Greater Region (Haus der Großregion – Maison de la Grande Région) was opened in Luxembourg. It is a place of communication and contact for the citizens of the regions, especially all the participants and organizations of the greater region. It serves two general purposes:
*The house is a for public demonstration of the existence of the greater region and therefore provides representation and identification within the interregional cooperation of the greater region.
*The house is a place to work on the projects of the summit of the greater region and the regional commission. [Citation
last =government of luxemburg representing the summit of the greater region and the regional commission Saar-Lor-Lux-Trier/Westpfalz
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title = Informationen und Dienstleistungen
date =2007-06-28
year =2007
url =http://www.granderegion.net/de/info_serv/index.html
accessdate = 2007-06-28
]

There is a multilingual hotline connected to the house, to give information to interested citizens and to answer their questions. The hotline can be used for free from the whole greater region with the same number.

Private cooperations

These are the most important projects of cooperation, because only these personal contacts create a much needed togetherness in the region. There are many more forms of cooperation between organizations and persons of the member regions, ranging form a cooperation of the Christian parties [cite web
last =CDU Landesverband Saar
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Erstes Treffen der EVP-Parteien der Großregion
work =
publisher =CDU Saar
date =2007-06-28
url =http://www.peter-mueller.de/content/messages/60862.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-06-28
] over the [http://www.saarlorlux.biz/cgi-bin/cms Buissiness portal for the Saar Lor Lux region] of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce the SaarLorLux orchestra to the [http://www.classique.de/ SaarLorLux rallye] and the [http://www.biker-saarlorlux.de/portal/wbb2/hmportal.php Biker Saar Lor Lux community] Most of these forms of private cooperation are working on binational or trinational level, including only parts of the region or including groups or organizations outside the area of the region.

The SaarLorLux region and the European Union

All members of SaarLorLux are also members of the European Community. The greater Region is the central area of this community. Luxembourg, one of the three towns, which house central institutions of the European Community (the court of justice of the European Communities [cite web
last =Cour de justice des Communautés européennes
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Contacts
work =
publisher =Cour de justice des Communautés européennes
date =2007
url =http://www.curia.europa.eu/en/infosprat/index_contacts.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-06-28
] ) is situated in the center of the greater region while the other two (Brussels and Strassbourg) are situated just some miles across the borders within the close vicinity of SaarLorLux.

In the terms of the European Union SaarLorLux is an European Border Region (short: Euroregion or Euregio), which means a single European transboundary region as an "amalgamation of regional and local authorities from both sides of the national border, sometimes with a parliamentary assembly" with "cross-border organisations with a permanent secretariat and experts and administrative staff", basing on national foundations or international treaties, [

cite book
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =An operational guidance paper for the preparation and management of INTERREG IIIA
publisher =Association of European border regions
date =June 2000
location =Gronau
pages =20
url =http://www.aebr.net/publikationen/pdfs/guidance.en.pdf
doi =
id =
] and a Greater Region (also macroregion), a territory that consists of multiple regions or subareas within different states of the European Union.

Council of European Municipalities and Regions

Because of its character as a recognized European Border Region, SaarLorLux is member of the council of regions, an assembly of representation, meant to give local and regional authority the possibility to express their needs, problems and wishes to the European union. [cite web
last =Council of European Municipalities and Regions
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =ABOUT CEMR > Introducing CEMR
work =
publisher =Council of European Municipalities and Regions
date =2007
url =http://www.ccre.org/presentation_en.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-06-28
]

Interreg

SaarLorLux is beneficiary of several Interreg projects [cite book | last = Saarland, Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Operationelles Programm zur grenzüberschreitenden Zusammenarbeit "Großregion" | publisher = | date = February 8, 1007 | location = Saarbrücken | pages = 1 - 116 | url = http://www.saarland.de/dokumente/thema_standort_saarland/OP-GR-24-10-07.PDF | doi = | id = | isbn = ] . These projects are designed to stimulate the cooperation between the member states of the European Union on different levels, especially to diminish the influence of national borders in order to attain equal economic, social and cultural development of the whole territory of the European Union.Today, the region gets money from projects of Interreg III A, while applications are filed for Interreg IV A projects.

Problems of cooperation

*These members show different forms of organization and structure and ability to decide. The partners face different problems, although they all share the problem of the change of structure. In all parts of SaarLorLux, coal mines and steelworks are closed or will be closed. Facing the same problem, the members did not create a shared solution, but reacted all on their own. While Luxembourg was very successful to recreate its economy by changing the structure to non productive industries, especially the sector of banking [cite news | first=Paul | last=Zahlen | coauthors= | title=Economic and social portrait of Luxembourg | date=March 2003 | publisher=Statec | url =http://www.portrait.public.lu/en/economic_structures/structure/overview/changes/index.html | work = | pages =2.2.1.1. | accessdate = 2008-01-21 | language = ] , and Lorraine tries to take a similar line, the German states and Wallonie tried to preserve their old industries and doing so failed. :This inability of cooperation does not only base in a lack of will. On many aspects, there is no political power to cooperate. The only partner with complete power is Luxembourg, represented by its prime minister. Everybody else, who shares the table of the summit, has only limited power. [ Citation| first=Katharina | last= Hassler| coauthors=Martin Heuskel| contribution=Tagungsbericht: Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| title=„Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| editor-first=| editor-last=| coeditors=,Martin Heuskel| publisher=Universität trier| place=Trier| pages=5| date=2007-08-08| year=2007| id= | contribution-url=http://www.politik.uni-trier.de/mitarbeiter/lorig/Tagungsbericht-Union-Stiftung.pdf| format=| accessdate=2008-01-22 ] For real decision, they have to ask the central or federal governments in Brussels, Paris and Berlin. So, most of the decisions of the Summit are nothing but a declaration of goodwill of the participants.

:Even on the level of villages, there are different levels of structure and size too, ranging from French villages with about one hundred inhabitants and the constant need to adjust decisions with higher level administrations to German community associations of several districts with thousands of inhabitants and constitutional rights of self government. [ Citation| first=Katharina | last= Hassler| coauthors=Martin Heuskel| contribution=Tagungsbericht: Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| title=„Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| editor-first=| editor-last=| coeditors=,Martin Heuskel| publisher=Universität trier| place=Trier| pages=3| date=2007-08-08| year=2007| id= | contribution-url=http://www.politik.uni-trier.de/mitarbeiter/lorig/Tagungsbericht-Union-Stiftung.pdf| format=| accessdate=2008-01-22 ]

*The members of SaarLorLux face the same problems. The economy of all members was founded on coalmining and steelworks. Now, they are all trying to perform the same structural change. Because the economic structures resemble each other, there is no possibility of different fields of activity to complement one another. [Citation
last =Brücher
first =Wolfgang
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Grenzraum Saar-Lor-Lux - eine Modellregion für Europa?
date =2001-12-0909
year =2001
url =http://www.geographie.uni-marburg.de/parser/parser.php?file=/deuframat/deutsch/5/5_2/bruecher/kap2.htm
accessdate = 2007-06-28
]
*Problems not only result from the real differences but also from the missing knowledge of the existing competence of the partners. With the exception of Luxembourg, the citizens of SaarLorLux do not speak the other language of the region. Main foreign language is English.
*About 120.000 people cross the borders to work in another country. 90.000 of these work in Luxembourg. This is the result of an enormous difference in living standards. These differences in wealth complicate the search for solutions on shared problems. [Citation
last =Brücher
first =Wolfgang
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Grenzraum Saar-Lor-Lux - eine Modellregion für Europa?
date =2001-12-0909
year =2001
url =http://www.geographie.uni-marburg.de/parser/parser.php?file=/deuframat/deutsch/5/5_2/bruecher/kap2.htm
accessdate = 2007-06-28
]
*Many of the citizens of the regions are not aware of SaarLorLux. [ Citation| first=Katharina | last= Hassler| coauthors=Martin Heuskel| contribution=Tagungsbericht: Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| title=„Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| editor-first=| editor-last=| coeditors=,Martin Heuskel| publisher=Universität trier| place=Trier| pages=6| date=2007-08-08| year=2007| id= | contribution-url=http://www.politik.uni-trier.de/mitarbeiter/lorig/Tagungsbericht-Union-Stiftung.pdf| format=| accessdate=2008-01-22 ] For a citizen of the town of Tournai, in the west of Wallonie, the next neighbor region of SaarLorLux (Luxembourg) is about two hundred kilometers away. For him, the European neighbor is the French region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, five kilometers away. It's the same for the region of Mainz in the east of Rhineland Palatinate, which is part of the Rhein Main area [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Kurzportrait der Städte und Gemeinden | date= | publisher=Economic Promotion Board Region Frankfurt RhineMain | url =http://www.region-frankfurt.de/RheinMain/englisch/e_home.html | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-01-22 | language = ] and the southern départements of Lorraine. The region simply seems to be to big to form an identity for all. [ Citation| first=Katharina | last= Hassler| coauthors=Martin Heuskel| contribution=Tagungsbericht: Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| title=„Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| editor-first=| editor-last=| coeditors=,Martin Heuskel| publisher=Universität trier| place=Trier| pages=6| date=2007-08-08| year=2007| id= | contribution-url=http://www.politik.uni-trier.de/mitarbeiter/lorig/Tagungsbericht-Union-Stiftung.pdf| format=| accessdate=2008-01-22 ]

The Future of SaarLorLux

Political plans

The current political plans for the future of SaarLorLux are displayed in Zukunftsbild 2020, a concept of development, showing the visions and ambitions of the greater region SaarLorLux. It was developed by the commission, lead by Jacques Santer the former president of the European Commission and former prime minister of Luxembourg.

A central intention is the bilingualism of the region. While for about one hundred years, especially in France, the extinction of everything but the national language was the intention of the state, now bilingualism is understood as a chance. So, the politicians in charge want everyone to understand both of the main languages of the region. are intended. In the end, French and German are intended to be common languages on equal footing within the whole region, [ cite book
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =2020, Vision for the future
publisher =government of Saarland
date =July 2003
location =Saarbrücken
pages =9
url =
doi =
id =
] including common media for the interregional audience. This cooperates with the plan to create, cross border schools, giving their students excellent possibilities to gain access to jobs within the European Community and international enterprises. There are also intentions for an interlinked higher education, research and innovation with statements of marks, examinations and diplomas bearing the seal of SaarLorLux. [ cite book
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =2020, Vision for the future
publisher =government of Saarland
date =July 2003
location =Saarbrücken
pages =21
url =
doi =
id =
] Today there exists the "Charter of Academic Cooperation", which tries to combine the higher education establishments of the Region. A university of the region shall be founded.

The politicians also want to form a single employment market within a common economic aera [ cite book
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =2020, Vision for the future
publisher =government of Saarland
date =July 2003
location =Saarbrücken
pages =27
url =
doi =
id =
] a multinational workforce and a transfer of knowledge. These plans want to transform the traditional problem of the participating members, the border location, next to the "enemy" into a central location within Europe. Part of this economic unity is the provision of social welfare standards over the whole of its territory with new kinds of social network encompassing all members of society and a cross-border Academy for the Social Professions, provideing the social institutions with first class staff. A Centre for Social Information still to be created shall inform the public about the provisions and social institutions in the Great Region. [ cite book
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =2020, Vision for the future
publisher =government of Saarland
date =July 2003
location =Saarbrücken
pages =37
url =
doi =
id =
]

Great hopes are taken from the good geostrategic position of the region as the center of European infrastructure combined with a great potential for absorbing increasing trans-European traffic shall make the region a center of European traffic on air, water, street and air. As a fist step, the new high-speed East-West railway link, which was opened in 2007 is seen. [ cite book
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =2020, Vision for the future
publisher =government of Saarland
date =July 2003
location =Saarbrücken
pages =42
url =
doi =
id =
] The public transport shall be linked for the cross-border transport of travellers.

In 2020 the region shall be an area with a homogeneous population possessing solid infrastructures and many interregional networks and urban agglomerations. Therefore, national spatial planning policies have to be abandoned in order to enable networks of cross border services. [ cite book
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =2020, Vision for the future
publisher =government of Saarland
date =July 2003
location =Saarbrücken
pages =46
url =
doi =
id =
] As a central political organ of the Great Region of Saar Lor Lux an Interregional Council (CI) is planned. [cite book
last =Head of Saarland Chancellery of State
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =2020, Vision for the future
publisher =government of Saarland
date =July 2003
location =Saarbrücken
pages =51
url =
doi =
id =
] Another task of the CI is the coordination of central missions at interregional level. Permanent execution of the Council shall be a secretariat, assisted by five agencies, develop and realize all central projects. The eight summit agreed on studies about the possibility of these five interregional agencies concerning the topics of
*multilingualism and culture
*science and research
*tourist marketing
*economy and employment
*transport

The eight summit also agreed on the construction of a timetable to realize the Zukunftsbild 2020.

Zukunftsbild 2020 is already included in interregional programmes of devellopment. For example it is part of Interreg III-A-Programme eBIRD. It is object of reference as a border crossing cooperation within the research project "Blueprints for regional foresight" of the Research Directorate General of the European Commission. [cite book
last =European Commission
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Blueprints for foresight actions in the regions: Transvision Bridging historically and culturally close neighbouring regions separated by national borders
publisher =European Commission
date =September 2004
location =Brussels
pages =1
url =
doi =
id =
]

Actual progress

Although politics create promising programs, their progress is limited. Mainly they create symbols as the "house of the Greater region", which is almost empty, or diplomas with the sign of SaarLorLux. The only real advancement, local politics can create, is the improvement of knowledge of the other language by creating bilingual schools. [ Citation| first=Katharina | last= Hassler| coauthors=Martin Heuskel| contribution=Tagungsbericht: Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| title=„Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| editor-first=| editor-last=| coeditors=,Martin Heuskel| publisher=Universität trier| place=Trier| pages=4-5| date=2007-08-08| year=2007| id= | contribution-url=http://www.politik.uni-trier.de/mitarbeiter/lorig/Tagungsbericht-Union-Stiftung.pdf| format=| accessdate=2008-01-22 ]

All real advancement will be a by-product of the European unity and the geographic location or it will be the result of the efforts of single groups or persons.

By-products of European unity

The most important fortuitous developments for the people of SaarLorLux have been the launch of the Euro, and the signing of the Schengen Agreement.

The launch of the Euro gave the citizens of the border region the possibility to trade behind the border without the need of advanced arithmetic operations to calculate the price, when one German marks was about three French francs and about twenty Luxembourgian francs or Belgian francs. The central or federal governments would never have allowed the region, to have money of its own. It's the same with most of the different regulations, norms and systems. The national governments will not allow the region to derivate from the national standards. These standards will not change because of the needs of the region. They will change within the progress of the European Union as a whole.

The Schengen agreement brought the removal of border posts and border checks (except the desperate efforts of German and French customs officers to stop their citizens, who transport tobacco, spirits and hundreds of liters of gasoline across the border, using unbelievable containers to increase the transport capacity of their cars) Today (for citizens of the European Union) the next village across the border can be reached the same way as another village in the own country. Although this agreement was signed on a river boat on the river Moselle near Schengen, at the border triangle of Lorraine , Luxembourg and Saarland, it was not created especially for the use of the region, but the whole of the founding members Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic and now 28 European States.

With every further progress of the European union, the region will participate and benefit.

Private initiative

The other possibility of advancement is a on the informal level. People are beginning to understand their position along the border as a chance. The French are going shopping in Saarland, because the prices are lower. The Germans cherish French shops for the fresh quality of their food and the wider range of products. Near the border crossings of Luxembourg, the streets are lined with gas stations. People are relocating to villages on the other side of the border, where houses are cheaper or taxes lower, although there still is not much willingness to become part of the other society. Mayors of villages along the border of southern Saarland and Lorraine report serious problems of Germans, who ar living there but wish their children to be exempted from French compulsory education, because they do not speak French and want their children to be educated by a German school on the other side of the border [cite news | first=Isabelle | last=Tentrup | coauthors= | title=Gebührenkinder: Wohnsitz drüben, Schule hüben | date=2007-02-05 | publisher=Saarländischer Rundfunk | url =http://www.sr-online.de/landleute/1424/602079.html | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-01-24 | language = ] . German villages face the same problem with students from Luxembourg.

Clubs and single persons are looking for cooperations with like-minded people on the other sides of the border. Many of these cooperations or associations have to stay on an informal level, because it is very difficult to create legal structures of cooperation as long as the legal systems in most parts are not compatible. In a certain way, this is compensated by the possibility to use the advantages of different national systems. Things, which are impossible on one side of the border, are supported by the other state.

The future of SaarLorLux will be the result of a quantity of such single projects and cooperations, made by single persons, groups and villages, all besides the political paths. [ Citation| first=Katharina | last= Hassler| coauthors=Martin Heuskel| contribution=Tagungsbericht: Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| title=„Regieren in Kommunen der Großregion SaarLorLux| editor-first=| editor-last=| coeditors=,Martin Heuskel| publisher=Universität trier| place=Trier| pages=4| date=2007-08-08| year=2007| id= | contribution-url=http://www.politik.uni-trier.de/mitarbeiter/lorig/Tagungsbericht-Union-Stiftung.pdf| format=| accessdate=2008-01-22 ] Despite the existing political problems, this is an enormous chance for the progress of the region.

Geographic aspects

A big advantage of the SaarLorLux space is its location in the center of Europe. An European infrastructure can not be build without this region. For example the high speed rail tracks between the French traffic junction Paris and the German traffic junction Frankfurt were opened, local politics claimed this, to be a victory of SaarLorLux. In fact, the railroad companies had no choice but to build the tracks through SaarLorLux, or to create a large detour around its southern borders, which would make no economic sense. So, in fact this was no political victory but a geographic and economic need, which made the decision. Any direct French-German connection will have to cross SaarLorLux almost inevitably. Press releases did not even mention the SaarLorLux space when they reported about the new connection. [ cite journal|title=Die Knallerbsen bleiben im Notfallkoffer|journal=Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung|date=2007-05-15|first=Nils Schiffhauer|last=Schiffhauer|coauthors=|volume=|issue=|pages=|id= |url=http://www.faz.net/s/Rub58F0CED852D8491CB25EDD10B71DB86F/Doc~EBE18AFA416A348A0BC2DE2DA80052983~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html|format=|accessdate=2008-01-22 ]

References

External links

*http://www.eurice.info/typo3sites/fileadmin/Forschen-ohne-Grenzen/documents/downloads/2020_Vision_for_the_Future_-_Internet-version.pdf
*http://www.saarlorlux.org/cgi-bin/cms. The business portal of SaarLorLux
*http://www.luxembourg2007.org/GB/index.php Website of the European cultural capital 2007


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.