Salenstein, Bodensee, Kanton Thurgau. Foto/Photo: TES.

Lake Constance Conference

Exactly 50 years ago, on 14 January 1972, government representatives of the federal states and cantons around Lake Constance founded the ( Internationale Bodensee-Konferenz, IBK) to address issues of regional cross-border cooperation jointly.

The IBK includes the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Vorarlberg and the cantons of Schaffhausen, Zurich, Thurgau, St. Gallen, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

This year’s event was chaired by Appenzell Ausserrhoden and addressed several neighbouring countries and the region’s cross-border concerns. For some time now, the members of the IBK have been advocating that the existing regional platform be supplemented by an intergovernmental commission.

The Lake Constance intergovernmental commission will be modelled on the longstanding and successful Franco-German-Swiss Intergovernmental Commission in the Upper-Rhine Region. It will cover the entire spectrum of neighbourly relations at the state level.

This cross-border cooperation is of the highest political importance for the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The Department will be holding a pilot meeting early this summer.

This 50th anniversary shows the long tradition of exchanges between the four neighbouring countries in the Lake Constance region.

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