With Regulation No. 1082 of 5 July 2006, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have elevated interregional cooperation to a higher level. Through the possibility of creating a so-called EGTC (European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation) - endowed with a European legal personality - interregional cooperation has gained a significant upgrade and expansion of possibilities. Whereas before, cooperation was mostly based on an informal level and without a legal basis, the legal instrument of the EGTC has allowed for the creation of transnational entities endowed with their own legal personality. Due to this new legal and institutional framework, cross-border projects can be better coordinated and realised.
In 2011, the Austrian region of Tyrol and the two Italian autonomous provinces of Bozen/Bolzano-South Tyrol and Trento made use of the possibility of founding an EGTC. The three regions had already worked together in the past, but without institutionalized cooperation - now they cooperate through the EGTC with its headquarters in Bozen/Bolzano.
With the exception of a few provisions, the EGTC Regulation of 5 July 2006, which was amended and supplemented by a regulation on 17 December 2013 with regard to the establishment and operation of the EGTC, is directly applicable in the member states. However, those provisions that are subject to an implementation reservation must be implemented by the member states. In the case of the Euregio, this had to happen through regional legislation in Tyrol (as according to the Austrian division of competences the regional level was competent) and for Italy at central state level. The relevant laws are the Tyrolean EGTC Act, passed by the Tyrolean Parliament in summer 2010 and in force from 3 September 2010, and the Italian Law No. 88 of 7 July 2009, implementing the EGTC regulation for Italy.
In October 2010, the agreement on the establishment and the statutes of the EGTC were sent to Rome. On 28 April 2011 Italy approved the establishment of the EGTC and also the participation of South Tyrol and Trentino in it. The formal approval by the Tyrolean provincial government was granted on 10 May 2011.
The founding treaties of the EGTC, Agreement and Statute, were ceremoniously signed on 14 June 2011 at Castel Thun in Trentino by the then governors Günther Platter (Tyrol), Luis Durnwalder (South Tyrol) and Lorenzo Dellai (Trentino).
Within the framework of EuregioLab2020 (the EGTC’s think tank), a reform of the convention and statute was prepared in order to harmonize it with the amended EGTC regulation of 17 December 2013. The amendment of the EGTC Convention and Statute was unanimously adopted at the EGTC Assembly on 28 January 2021. In the course of the first half of 2021, the amendments to the founding treaties have been examined by the competent authorising authorities in Rome and Innsbruck. The signing of the new statutes was signed on Tyrol Day 2021 at the European Forum Alpbach 2021, on 22 August 2021 in the Plessi-Museum at the boarder of Brennero.
The then governors of the European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino(l.t.r.: Lorenzo Dellai (Trentino), Luis Durnwalder (South Tyrol), Günther Platter (Tyrol) at the first meeting of the EGTC bodies at Tyrol Castle on 13.10.2011. © Land Tirol