Upper Rhine Museum Pass


Cross-border cooperation is a partnership between private or public players, separated by a State border, whose actions have repercussions at regional and local level on either side of the border. Within the European area, 360° mobility across the border, the projects and policies that accompany this mobility in territories close to the border, and the progressive cross-border integration that this cooperation builds and gives rise to cross-border territories, characterise different experiences. To illustrate the results of more than 20 years of cooperation within the Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT), 20 unique experiments conducted by MOT members for the benefit of the inhabitants of cross-border territories were highlighted. Tourism is a major player in territorial development. In addition to the flows that cross them, cross-border areas are also stopping-off points and places of discovery for many tourists. Many regions are working together to boost and develop this sector. Here, the case of the « Upper Rhine Museum Pass ».

A dynamic sector of the European economy, tourism is a key area of cross-border cooperation. The development of tourism infrastructure and services fosters the local economy, creating jobs in the short and long term, which is why the development through tourism of border areas, which account for 40% of Europe’s surface area, is a real challenge. By highlighting a shared historical or geographical heritage, tourism reinforces a sense of belonging and identification with a cross-border territory.

Officially launched on 1 July 1999, the PASS Musées is Europe’s first trinational cultural passport. For one year from the date of purchase, it offers unlimited access to around 320 sites, encouraging people to cross borders to discover museums, castles, sites and gardens. An association under Swiss law, Museums-PASS-Musée, was set up on the initiative of the Upper Rhine Conference’s « culture » working group, to launch and manage the project. The project was funded by the German Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg, the Swiss cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Aargau and Jura, the French government, the Alsace Region and the European Union through the Interreg II Upper Rhine and PAMINA funding programmes. The project’s success is reflected in its geographical expansion, a steady increase in the number of partner organisations, museum visits with the annual passport and financial transfers to member sites.

Aims of the project

To promote access to the cultural entities in the programme area and invite the public to discover Europe’s cultural riches.


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