On September 9, 1988, the Regions of Baden-Württemberg, Catalonia, Lombardy and Rhône-Alpes signed a cooperation agreement. The cooperation « Four Motor for Europe » was then created with the perspective of the achievement of the European Union single market on January 1, 1993. Through this collaboration, the four Regions wished to combine their forces to conduct joint-actions, to think ot the future of Europe and to make the regional actors participate in the European construction.
Since their creation, the Four Motors regularly carry out joint-actions to answer to the original vocation. They have already signed several Position Papers aiming at promoting an « Europe of the Regions ». On this matter, the Four Motors organize every year an economic and institutional mission in a third country. The objective of theses joint-missions is to contribute to the internationalization of the Regions and to explore together the opportunities offered by the third country, in any relevant area ranging from institutions, economy to techonologies. For instance in 2002 during the Lombard presidency, the Four Motors organised a mission in China. They went in the USA the next year on the initiative of the Rhône-Alpes Region and in Russia in 2008 under the presidency of Baden-Württemberg. More recently in November 2015, Catalonia organized for the Four Motors a mission in Chile.
Since 1988, the Four Motors for Europe has been a dynamic collaboration with the realisation of innovative projects and many economic, scientific and university exchanges.