The Eurocitizen Card is a tool that gives access to amenities and services to the citizens of the Eurocity of Chaves-Verín. It works on both sides of the border while improving citizen participation. It can be considered as one of the most symbolic actions taken by the working group (lead by Eixo Atlântico association, and including representatives of institutions and communities of the Northern Portugal-Galicia, such as the Galician Government - Xunta da Galicia, Diputación Provincial Ourense, Commission for Regional Coordination and Development of the North of Portugal, and Chaves and Verín Municipalities) that leads this Eurocity.
As a way of engaging local people, the project (funded by the EU under INTERREG-IV) developed the ‘Eurocitizens Card’, which allows users from both cities to access shared municipal services and facilities in areas such as sport, leisure, music and culture. Each card is multifunctional, smart and free of charge. Besides, it is unique to its user, which means it can be used to identify citizens eligible for discounts, such as the elderly, the disabled and young people. To apply for a Eurocitizen card, you need to be a Eurocity Resident. Publication of a monthly events agenda has also helped to foster a shared sense of belonging.
The initiative has improved both the quality of life within the communities and the competitiveness of the area as a whole. From a logistical point of view, the creation of a single legal entity known as the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) has improved planning and managing the resources of both cities more efficiently, while the Eurocitizen Card is especially promoting cultural and social integration. The card currently has more than 7,000 subscribers. It has proved so popular that at the Eurocity of Chaves-Verín they are working on a tourist version to allow visitors to share the same benefits while visiting the area.