Cross-Border Impact Assessment 2022: Topics announced

The topics for the ITEM’s annual Cross-Border Impact Assessment 2022 have been selected and the research phase is now well underway. The final reports will be presented at the ITEM Annual Conference, November 18th 2022.

ITEM’s main task is to help remove border barriers within the EU. That is why we publish a detailed annual report on which we regard as the current issues from legislation and policy that could create such barriers. These include, for example, barriers that arise for people living in one country but working in another, or barriers inhibiting local authorities working together on cross-border projects. By identifying and analysing these themes, ITEM aims to contribute to both the scientific debate and improving (policy on) cross-border mobility and the socio-economic development of cross-border regions in practice.

The topics for the ITEM’s annual Cross-Border Impact Assessment 2022 have been selected and the research phase is now well underway. The final reports will be presented at the ITEM Annual Conference, November 18th 2022.

This years’ topics:

Ex-ante analysis of the border effects of the European Health Data Space (ex-ante)

On 3 May 2022, the European Commission published a proposal for a Regulation creating a “European Health Data Space” (EHDS). The EHDS would create a digital infrastructure for health data, under which health data could be exchanged more easily throughout the EU.  This dossier analyses the potential effects of the EHDS on the cross-border regions of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, should the proposal be implemented.

Cross-border effects of the EU proposal for a directive on platform workers (ex-ante)

Today, over 28 million people in the EU work online through digital labour platforms. By 2025, their number is expected to reach 43 million people. In response to this rapidly growing labour market, the European Commission has proposed a directive to improve labour conditions for workers, provide increased legal certainty for digital labour platforms, as well as promote the sustainable growth of the platforms. This dossier assesses the potential cross-border effects of the proposed legislation.

From North Sea Port to North Sea port: cross-border energy transition

The Benelux instrument BGTS has been successfully used by six municipalities and two provinces in Belgium and the Netherlands to create the cross-border “North Sea Port District” Terneuzen-Gent. A similar cooperation would be possible for the Eemshaven port in Groningen, adjacent to Germany. Due to non-aligned spatial planning and subsidy schemes between participating parties, the ports may be hindered in realising effective climate policies and energy transition. This dossier assesses the border obstacles that may arise both with regard to managing a successful energy transition and questions of energy security.

Cross-border exchange of information in the fight against organised crime (ex-ante)

Organised crime does not stop where the border begins. To address the problem of cross-border organised crime, the European Commission has launched two legislative proposals under the umbrella of the Security Union strategy. These consist of a draft directive and a draft regulation. This dossier assesses the potential effects both measures would have on the cross-border regions of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, if they are implemented.

Border effects of the Dutch fireworks prohibition (ex-ante)

During the 2021-2022 turn of the year the Netherlands banned the sale, transport, outdoor possession and lighting of fireworks. This was described as a temporary measure to diminish hospitalisations during the COVID-19 crisis, to reduce the burden on healthcare workers. These measures were not in place in Belgium and Germany at the time, where fireworks remained (partly) legal. This dossier assesses the border effects the Dutch fireworks prohibition, as there is a draft law proposing to render it permanent.

The cross-border effects of the Dutch Nitrogen policy (student dossier)

In 2019, the Dutch nitrogen policy was deemed to be in conflict with European legislation by the Dutch Council of State, after a previous preliminary ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU to the same effect. In response to these assessments, the Dutch government has rolled out a mix of measures to alleviate concerns. These range from reducing the maximum speed on motorways to establishing subsidy schemes for farm modification. Because nitrogen emissions spill over across the border, in turn affecting nature, health, agriculture and industry there, this dossier assesses the border effects of the Dutch Nitrogen policy as it stands. The research has been carried out in the context of a PREMIUM-project by a multidisciplinary student team.

Has the border resident’s perception of the "border" changed since the COVID-19 crisis? (opinion piece)

During the COVID-19 crisis, (physical) borders were re-erected between the Member States in the EU. This phenomenon is likely to have affected the perception residents have on the border. Especially in a cross-border region like the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, where a 360°-perspective is being promoted when it comes to cross-border cooperation, living and working, deeper insights into such perceptions are of interest when pondering ideas like Euregional identity. This year a commentary will address these aspects as a follow-up to the two research dossiers on the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 and 2021. Additionally, it serves as the foundation for developing a uniquely localised barometer on identity, which will be expanded upon in future research.

The expertise centre ITEM (Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility) operates at the convergence of research, counselling, knowledge exchange and training activities in the domain of cross-border mobility and cooperation. 

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