Everyday tales and stories from the border regions of Europe and beyond, with the aim of explaining why we border-crossers are as obsessed as we are about this subject, why it is important to all of us, and why the co-operation community needs a little bit more visibility than it normally gets.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Lies, damned lies, and Daily Mail Journalists

Now, this is an old Daily Mail story from last autumn about evil EU plots to redraw the map of Europe , but the intriguing Strange Maps blog has just deconstructed the story rather nicely here: http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/08/05/163-europe-wipes-britain-off-the-map/ , so I thought I'd add my views.

Now, I could deconstruct the story some more - even without referring to the fundamental point that INTERREG is all about helping neighbours work together. I could point out that the Daily Mail made the map up themselves; I could point out that they've mixed up cross-border and transnational areas (which is a bit like mixing football and rugby teams); and they patently don't know what they're talking about. Is it worth it, however? Never let the truth get in the way of a bad story, as they say at Mail HQ.

While you browse Strange Maps (and you should), you might come across his thoughts on Euroregions: http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/03/06/85-a-map-of-germanys-euroregions/ An interesting piece, but even here, there are worrying inaccuracies. Euroregions are nothing to do with the EU - it doesn't create them, it certainly doesn't name them, although it might give them a bit of money through an INTERREG programme from time to time, but only if they have a decent project to be supported. Just to be clear - Euroregions are very much a creation of the Council of Europe (http://www.coe.int/t/e/legal_affairs/local_and_regional_democracy/documentation/library/default.asp#TopOfPage) and are supported by the Association of European Border Regions (www.aebr.net). They are created by regions and districts on each side of a border who want to work together, and who think that they might have more in common with their neighbour across the border than with regions in their own country. Not such a bad thing, surely?

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