Tonight, a French friend sent sent me an email expressing his disappointment about the fact that a Eurodistrict comprising the French (Euro-)city Strasbourg and the German regional authority Kehl, which will be officially created by officials from both parties at a signing ceremony tomorrow afternoon, is falling far short of the enthusiasm it was conceived with (some details by Reuters (in French)).
During the heyday of the latest Franco-German governmental rapprochement in early 2003, Chancellor Schröder and President Chirac signed a declaration calling for new forms of European institutional cooperation. But lacking consistent ideational support from the two governments, the regional authorities were unable to overcome different administrative practices, legal concerns, and – problems to fund a bridge. Thus, they will not establish a new form of supranational institution but rather “just another” council for regional cross-border cooperation. And they won’t get a new bridge.