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Living in a border community - Citizens’ experiences, perspectives and aspirations  

​Mützenich, one of the highest villages in North Rhine-Westphalia, is a former municipality in the district of Aachen. It has been part of the city of Monschau since 1972. In particular, Mützenich is one of several German enclaves surrounded by the track of the former 'Vennbahn' (now a cycling route) which has been a part of Belgium since the implementation of the Versailler Treaty. 

Both in Germany and Belgium, life at and with the border has become commonplace: citizens easily cross the border and enjoy advantages from the other side.

However, can we say that this has made us more European? Or are we rather taking a step backwards if we look at the unpleasant events during the coronavirus crisis and the war in Ukraine? 

What do citizens wish for in this cross-border community, that has seen the construction of Europe on a daily basis and witnessed the dismantling of hard borders and the integration of Europe ? Or is more Europe and the improvement of cross-border activities not so desirable?

​The following topics were discussed in three groups:

  • Experiencing borders
  • Wishes for the border situation in Mützenich
  • Wishes for Europe

High-level speakers included​​​:​​

  • CoR Member Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the Parliament of the German-speaking Community of Belgium and 
  • CoR Member Mark Speich, Secretary of State for Federal, European and International Affairs (North Rhine-Westphalia)
  • Axel Wirtz, Deputy Städteregionsrat of the District of Aachen

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