End of November 2017, Andreas Faludi is chairing this panel at the Conference on Macro-regional policy challenges and best practice solutions for cross-border planning, governance and interoperability. Faludi writes:

My statement to participants states the obvious: Crossing borders can be hard business. I could have given the example of my mother crossing the Hungarian-Austrian border illegally and on foot, carrying food for my starving grandparents in Vienna in May 1946. Later that year she and I were leaving Hungary for good, carrying official papers. When the train stopped at the border, I as a six-year old was instructed to play idly with a layer of domino pieces under which foreign cash was stashed away. In those days, one took risks. But my current visit is not an occasion for going back to my roots. I have memories of my years there, and I will be gazing at Andrássy út 37 (see picture) where we lived, not on the front facing this grand boulevard though, but in the back in what used to be the maid’s quarters. No, my roots, if any, are in Vienna where I grew up. I have been back to Budapest at less than half a dozen occasions. I know the Hungarians – at least those whom I have not met before – will wonder why somebody with an unmistakably Hungarian name will not be able to utter more than an apology in their language. My interest in this conference is professional. Cross-border cooperation is an aspect of European spatial planning – maybe the only one – with merit. But I suspect it is a tough call in Central Europe. So I have encouraged participants to elaborate on any tension between bottom-up initiatives and the politics of the states concerned.  (Text by Andreas Faludi)

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