The new European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) Rio Minho is born with the spirit of operating as a legal tool to choose and manage European funds and thus enhance the territory of the border formed by 16 municipalities in southern Pontevedra and 10 chambers of Northern Portugal. The new EGTC will also make it possible to promote and organise cooperation actions of the territory directly, as well as to serve as a stable forum on the Miño river. In fact, it is intended to be at the service of the Eurocities that now exist even at the border, since the EGTC is protected by its own legislation to operate in Spain and Portugal with greater bureaucratic and administrative facilities than at present. The EGTC will save a lot of paperwork,”explained Deputy Uxío Benítez, representative of the Pontevedra Provincial Council, one of the main partners of the entity.
The Minho River EGTC will be the eighth grouping of these characteristics to be created in the Iberian Peninsula to develop cross-border territories and will form part of the group of more than 70 existing in the EU after it was approved as a legal formula in 2006 being the EGTC located on the most populated border and with the highest traffic of vehicles within the peninsular territory, since it accumulates practically half of the journeys of the entire border with Portugal only in the stretch of the peninsula.
Once the official birth of the European Grouping of the territory of Miño is proclaimed this Saturday with the signing of the agreement between its two main partners (Diputación de Pontevedra and CIM Alto Minho) and its statutes, it will be necessary to publish it in the Official Gazette of the Portuguese Republic and, subsequently, to gather the general assembly next month, where the president will be elected.
Second, explained Benítez, the Miño territory that will benefit from the EGTC covers 3,312 square kilometers of territory and 375,995 inhabitants and “has a determination and a joint identity, landscape and socio-economic conditions” that must be valued.
The deputy stressed that its xeo-strategic situation on the Vigo-Puerto axis means that this territory has very large development potentialities, so it is necessary to enhance its environmental values and, above all, tourism. “This will be one of the main and most important tasks of the new EGTC: the development of a tourism brand of the river Miño that allows articulating a joint strategy of the whole territory and not only city council to city council,”he stressed.