The INFOBEST network is a set of information centres located in the Upper Rhine area that provide information on a wide range of topics of interest to citizens living or working in the neighbouring country. Its services are provided through 4 one-stop shops along the trilateral border region, together with a unique and comprehensive website which gathers all the relevant information in German and French. Thanks to their established expertise and bilingual staff, INFOBEST reception centres offer advice on various border mobility issues by:
- acting as intermediate interlocutors between all levels of cross-border cooperation (from citizens to State administrations);
- supporting bi- or tri-national cross-border initiatives and project leaders;
- organising conferences, seminars and information days;
- supplying information and advice through the INFOBEST website and through brochures;
- supporting citizens with administrative processes in the neighbouring country.
INFOBEST services are provided through 4 centres which were established during the 1990s:
- INFOBEST Palmrain (Village-Neuf)
- INFOBEST Kehl/Strasbourg (Kehl)
- INFOBEST Vogelgrun/Breisach (Vogelgrun)
- INFOBEST Pamina (Lauterbourg)
At the project’s outset, the activities of the reception centres were funded by the Interreg programme V-A France-Germany-Switzerland (Rhin supérieur-Oberrhein) Today, the offices are supported by several partners including the French government and other local and regional actors (regions, cities, and cantons). This multi-governance cooperation helped turn the original Interreg project into a trinational public service based on agreements signed between the different funding partners.
Information and advisory services in the region have proved instrumental to promoting a positive attitude towards cross-border mobility. Concrete examples of the contribution of the INFOBEST centres are:
- The high number of queries handled by the centres. For example, from 1993 to 2018 INFOBEST Kehl/Strasburg answered more than one thousand enquiries;
- A glossary for people who cross the border, developed by INFOBEST Vogelgrun/Breisach;
- The organisation of cross-border consultation days in which citizens can discuss their concerns directly with the responsible authorities.