The Community Groups set up between Castilla y León in Spain and the Portuguese regions of the North and Centre to promote and improve cross-border cooperation, further strengthened their collaboration during the Covid-19 pandemic by launching new initiatives to enhance cooperation and communication.
In 2020, a state of emergency was declared in both Spain and Portugal due to Covid-19. In addition to strictly enforced lockdowns, controls were re-established at the border between Spain and Portugal, which prevented the free movement of people between both countries. These measures affected the fluidity of contacts between citizens and institutions on both sides of the border.
In order not to compromise the good work undertaken in this cross-border region where the importance of open borders has been long understood, resources were made available to enhance cooperation. To interact with citizens, new forms of communication, in particular digital communication were used with a view to promoting cooperation and enhancing exchanges.
The “Espacio Fronteira” YouTube channel the channel for cross-border cooperation between the regions of Castile and Leon and the North and Centre of Portugal was launched. This represents the official communication channel of the Community Groups that these three regions have set up among themselves: Norte-Castilla y León (NORCYL) and Centro-Castilla y León (CENCYL). The channel offers a diet of current affairs, reports of interest and live broadcasts. It is a free channel whose contents are financed by the POCTEP Interreg Programme and the ERDF.
On the other hand, the blog «Espacio Fronteira» (“Frontier Area” Blog) has been created, focusing on the Spanish-Portuguese border shared by the regions of Castile and Leon, North and Central Portugal. The blog has several sections: news, opinion, library, audio and video library.
How digital tools brought people together during pandemic. POCTEP Interreg programme strengthens cooperation when most needed (artículo originalmente publicado en Interreg Newsletter: Summer 2022, junio 2022 – DG Regional and Urban Policy).