Contributions of the Cross-border Rio Minho territory for the 2022 Iberian Summit

On the celebration of the Iberian Summit in Viana do Castelo next Friday, November 4, the EGTC Rio Minho, the Deputation of Pontevedra and the CIM Alto Minho signed on the 25th a Declaration which was delivered to the Minister of Territorial Cohesion of Portugal and to the Delegate of the Spanish Government in Galicia with the aim of enhancing and socio-economically developing the territory of the cross-border Rio Minho.

Below we reproduce the contributions of the cross-border Rio Minho territory for the 2022 Iberian Summit signed in the Pontevedra Declaration:

The cross-border territory of the Rio Minho has important common characteristics and strong interdependence in its economic, social and cultural relations. Its geostrategic location in the center of the Euroregion makes the Rio Minho a unique cooperation space that covers the most dynamic border area with socio-economic potential between Spain and Portugal. At its five border crossings – out of the existing 64 – it accounts for more than 50% of the total flow of vehicles, has around 13,000 active cross-border workers, has three Eurocities and other urban hubs with informal cooperation dynamics, and has the only declared international river area of the Minho River Nature 2000, in addition to an internationally recognized joint tangible and intangible heritage. Its future objectives are included in a strategic plan (Rio Minho 2030 Strategy) in which 500 entities participated.

For hundreds of years after the States fixed the borders, the border territories had a disadvantage of economic development due to the border effect and the impossibility and/or difficulty of socio-economic relations. With the COVID pandemic, 25 years after the borders were opened, the States decided on a closure that had a double economic impact on the territory.

For this reason, the Deputation of Pontevedra, the CIM Alto Minho and the EGTC Rio Minho ask the Spanish and Portuguese states for their specific support, taking a comprehensive look at this territory with the following priorities for the development of Spain-Portugal cross-border cooperation:

  • Local Development and Territorial Cohesion in the Cross-border Rio Minho. Valorization and debate on the importance of the international border of the Rio Minho due to its geostrategic situation and its feature as the busiest border and with the greatest potential for socio-economic dynamism. Analysis of the possibility of an Integrated Territorial Intervention or the commitment to a global structuring territorial development project within the framework of the new Interreg program.
  • Connectivity and business development. Guarantee of public investment to improve connectivity and transport of goods between Vigo airport, the Ports of Vigo and Viana do Castelo, road infrastructure (A52 in Galicia and A3, A28 and A27 in Portugal) and the network of business parks and centers of logistics.
  • Bet on the Atlantic rail corridor. Clear support for the high-speed Vigo-Porto with an improvement of the line and an increase in the number of frequencies. Taking advantage of the current infrastructure -improved- to be exploited as a cross-border local train that allows the territory to connect the large urban centers between the two cities.
  • Making more Europe by integrating citizenship and facilitating cross-border mobility. It is committed to improving sustainable cross-border mobility both in the rail sector (high-speed and local trains) and by promoting unique local mobility projects, such as the pedestrian and cycle bridge between Tomiño and Vila Nova de Cerveira, for which the Deputation has already drawn up the project.
  • Improving coverage, connectivity and the supply of digital and telecommunications services (mobile network, fiber optic and 5G).
  • Launch of the Cross-border Citizenship Card for the population of the municipalities bordering the Rio Minho, which allows general use of equipment and common access to local services, as well as simplifying their life at the border.
  • Environmental defense of a common natural resource. Promote and promote a commitment by the States for a comprehensive project for sanitation and environmental improvement of the Rio Minho. Support joint initiatives born in the territory on tourism promotion that seek economic development and territorial innovation by attracting people, companies and new activities.


Pontevedra, October 25, 2022


You can download the Declaration of Pontevedra here