Getting locals to pitch in ideas for the Guadiana Eurocity and its future projects is the main goal of the new Observatório Transfronteiriço do Guadiana (Crossborder Guadiana Observatory), which is expected to be up and running in six months and will help define a strategy for the Eurocity until 2030.
The Guadiana Eurocity was created in 2013 and comprises the Algarve boroughs of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António and the Spanish municipality of Ayamonte.
But there are still “obstacles” that prevent citizens from feeling like they belong to a Eurocity, Castro Marim Mayor Francisco Amaral told Lusa news agency this week.
“At the moment, we have a company developing this observatory, which, at the heart of it, aims to give some scientific thoroughness to this Eurocity. We have to listen to the population, associations and entrepreneurs in order to draw up a strategy,” he said.
The goal is to create a feeling of “cohesion” among the three municipalities and have them complement each other to everyone’s gain.
Among the ideas that could be developed is the creation of a “Eurocitizen Card” providing access to health services on both sides of the border.
“There are certain aspects that can be achieved if we can overcome bureaucratic and administrative hurdles,” he said, adding that it would be “great if the people of Vila Real de Santo António and Castro Marim could have access” to Ayamonte’s health services”.