09 Mar
17:00 - 18:15

Next ITEM - “The Future of the European Cross-Border Regions”

Presentation and Debate

“Next ITEM” – is the title of a series of public debates organised by the expertise centre ITEM, the UM cross-border institute. We continue with linking the debate on the Future of Europe to the Future of the European Cross-Border Regions. 

Panel guests:

  • Martin Klatt, University of Southern Denmark
  • Pascal Arimont, Member of the European Parliament for Belgium



On Wednesday 9 March 2022 ITEM organized a NEXT ITEM debate titled "The Future of European Cross-Border Regions".

The programme consisted of a pre-discussion, a presentation by Martin Unfried and a discussion with the panel guests.

Martin Unfried, senior researcher at ITEM started he debate by referring to the war in Ukraine and raised the question of military cooperation in the European Union. Pascal Arimont (Member of the European Parliament for Belgium) and Martin Klatt (University of Southern Denmark) referred to the European and the Danish debate.

Subsequently Martin Unfried gave a short presentation on “The State of Cross-Border Regions after the Covid crisis: results from recent ITEM research”. According to Martin Unfried, the Covid crisis made clear that border regions were faced with serious problems, that can be captured as a ‘subsidiarity crisis’. Crisis management was not always done at the appropriate level and cross-border governance in the European Union was not sufficiently developed to prevent serious problems in border regions. One could even speak about a “re-bordering” effect that started with the migration crisis and was strengthened as a result of the national Covid-approach. He finally concluded that cross-border territories would need a more solid status. This could mean that certain ideas for future treaty changes should be discussed in the debate on the Future of Europe.

Pascal Arimont and Martin Klatt also confirmed the necessity to strengthen the position of border regions, but not so much within the treaty but with respect to other instruments. Martin Klatt made clear that the introduction of border controls has been a rather normal practice on the Danish side already before the Covid-crisis. Pascal Arimont pointed out that at least there is today a sort of obligation under Schengen to describe the effects on border regions in case of temporary border controls. Pascal Arimont, who is a Member of the delegation of the European Parliament to the “Conference on the Future of Europe”, also questioned whether the current debate would be efficient enough to discuss treaty changes in detail. That has been so far not the case in the working group on health policy, where he followed the debate as a member.  

ITEM would like to thank Pascal Arimont, Martin Klatt and participants for their valuable insights!

Were you unable to attend the event, or do you wish to review it? You can find the recording on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0X3sICy5Q4

We hope to see you at the NEXT ITEM event!


Also read