MOT is the acronym for Mission Opértionelle Transfrontalière, or Transfrontier Operational Mission association set up by the French government in 1997, reason why it is celebrating its twentieth birthday at the end of November of 2017. (See picture) .The venue is the Brussels premises of the Committee of the Regions.

I am infatuated with borders. Not that I like them. They are by definition disruptive. Which is why anything that transgresses borders has my attention. Overcoming borders is the brief of MOT. It supports and watches over all manner of initiatives to reach out to France’s neighbours which, in this specific case – Guayana in South America being a Département d’Outre Mère DOM) and as such French territory – includes Suriname and Brazil.

The occasion at Brussels is tri-lingual (French-English-German) which only vouches for the openness that MOT – after all a French state agency – observes.  Its director, Jean Peyrony, a polytechnicien with experience, amongst others, at the European Commission in Brussels, is himself takes initiatives to also promote transnational planning elsewhere, amongst others in Central Europe. MOT initiates and supports the collection of evidence across borders, much as ESPON, the European Spatial Planning Observation Network does for the whole of the EU, but then tailor made for specific cross-border territories. The likes of European Commissioners, Presidents and Vice-Presidents of MOT and others – will be giving speeches, but I am particularly looking forward to MOT’s strategy for after 2020.



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