4. Mobility

Cross-border cooperation and mobility

Some of the main priorities of the European Union and other institutions relate to the mobility of persons, the provision of services, addressing crime and insecurity, promoting trade and sustainable development, taxation, the social security of cross-border workers, and protecting the environment. These priorities presuppose cooperation between public and private organisations across borders. This research stream investigates how such cooperation can lead not only to the integration, coordination, and harmonisation of legal and social orders, but also to tension, conflict, and disintegration, in light of differences in rules, jurisdictions, legal cultures and more.

Within this stream, several focal points can be identified. The first is the relationship between rules, regulations, and cross-border mobility at the national, European, and international level. This can lead, for example, to the study of cross-border regions as living labs of EU integration, to questions about the enforcement of cross-border cooperation and mobility, and to assessments of whether existing cross-border rules and activities are compliant with the rule of law.

The second focal point relates to the operations of various actors in a cross-border environment. It studies, for example, how multi-agency approaches between public-private actors are used to control crime through collaboration between police, municipalities, social services, and others. It also examines the effects of cross-border arrangements on nationality and family relationships, and how citizens are affected by differences in social security, labour, or tax regulations. Relevant economic questions include how companies take advantage of cross-border mobility and the broader impacts of their crossborder mergers, divisions, and seat transfers.

The third focus is concerned with the link between cross-border mobility and basic concepts and paradigms. It asks, for example, whether the idea of the nation state is eroding and if this is affecting cross-border dynamics, and whether migration flows and demographic changes affect matters of identity, citizenship, fundamental rights, international peace, and security.