WWII left deep wounds in the region around Kleve, Emmerich, Arnhem, and Nijmegen. Initial private contacts gradually led to the development of a cross-border exchange at an official level.

First joint conference of the municipalities of Kleve, Emmerich, Arnhem, and Nijmegen. The theme was cross-border perspectives on the construction of ‘Rijksweg 15’ (Highway 15, the curreent A3/A12). More conferences follow.


Border municipalities and industrial boards establish the Rhine-Waal Region Work Group. The work group is further institutionalised throughout the seventies. 

The Rhine-Waal Region Council begins work, establishing the reinforcement of economic structures, the intensification of social and cultural contacts, and the promotion of tourism in the border region as main objectives.

The Rhine-Waal Region becomes the Rhine-Waal Euroregion. Based on the Anholt Treaty (23 May 1991), the Euroregion becomes the first public cross-border body in Europe.


Since then, the Rhine-Waal Euroregion has developed itself from a single organisation for cross-border collaboration mainly between municipalities near the border, to a public body with about 55 members. Where the area of operation spanned 1600 km2 and counted a population of 750,000 in the seventies, today it covers 8663 km2, with a population of approximately 4.2 million.