History

Cross border ties between Extremadura, Alentejo and Central Portugal were initiated at the beginning of the 90’s. They were institutionalized as a result of the “Protocols of Cross Border Cooperation” endorsed by the Extremaduran regional government (Junta de Extremadura) and the CCDR Alentejo, in 1992, and by the Extremaduran regional government (Junta de Extremadura) and the CCDR Central Portugal, in 1994. Starting practically from scratch, a productive first stage of cooperation began at that time. Following an initial phase of getting to know each other, the first projects and results began to take shape more recently under the protection of the successive programs INTERREG and POCTEP (Operative Program of Spanish-Portuguese cross border cooperation)

After almost two decades, the territory occupied by the three regions, with its 428 kilometres of common border, has been transformed into a territory with new perspectives and possibilities in which cross border cooperation has become an important asset for its development. An enormous amount of initiatives and common projects have emerged. New infrastructure has enormously improved cross border contacts; commercial transactions and links between businesses have consistently got stronger, and the terms “Iberian” or “peninsular” have been incorporated into a large number of conferences and numerous trade fair competitions held on both sides of the border. At the same time, the number of Spaniards studying the Portuguese language and vice versa, has increased exponentially in recent years, as has the presence of creators and artists from both sides of the border in museums and cultural festivals in the three regions.

The positive results, as well as the interest shown by the three regions in broadening their cooperation, led to the signing of a single cooperation agreement and the fusion of the two former Work Communities in one, with the aim of rationalizing the organizational structures of our neighbourhood relationship.

The signing of this agreement facilitated the creation of the Euroregion Alentejo-Centre-Extremadura (EUROACE) and the beginning of a new stage in the cooperation between the three regions.