The Protocol aims to strengthen inter-territorial co-operation between European countries. It follows the Council of Europe's declaration at the Vienna 1993 summit to build a tolerant and prosperous Europe through transfrontier co-operation.
The Protocol complements the existing Convention (ETS no. 106) and Protocol (ETS no. 159), which are concerned with relations between adjacent communities that share common borders. These two legal texts have proved so successful that twinning agreements have begun to spring up between areas that are further apart. Protocol 2 will act as a legal text to cover these new arrangements. It recognises the right of authorities to make such agreements and sets out a legal framework for them to do so.