ITEM evaluates the first five years

The Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross-border cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) in Maastricht looked back on its first five years on Friday, August 23. Supported by a report from an external evaluation committee, the institute looks with confidence to the next five years, during which cooperation with other border regions will take shape. In addition to Member of the Executive Council of the Province of Limburg, Joost van den Akker, the festive gathering also included representatives from other important partners, such as the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Social Insurance Bank and the municipality of Maastricht.

What ITEM does and for whom
ITEM is a centre of expertise that investigates cross-border collaboration and mobility, but also gives advice, exchanges knowledge and provides training on these themes. The independent evaluation committee concludes that there is a broad interest in the knowledge and expertise of ITEM, both at border info points, regional institutions and governments, and at ministries in the Netherlands and Germany, European institutions and knowledge institutes.

The external evaluation committee is impressed
"ITEM is becoming more and more involved in the preparation of new laws and regulations", the committee notes. “The committee is impressed by the involvement of ITEM researchers in formulating and helping solve problems related to cross-border issues. Apparently, ITEM regards itself not only as a knowledge institute, but also as an institution with a strong social mission”, states the report. (text continues below photo's)

On to the next five years
The appreciation for ITEM's work was already apparent in 2017, when the European Commission designated the annual ITEM cross border impact assessment as "good practice". Nathalie Verschelde, deputy head of the ‘Interreg, Cross-Border Cooperation’ unit of the European Commission, was on the external assessment committee. During the festivities in Maastricht, she called on the institute to share its methodology with other European border regions in particular and to further expand cooperation with European institutes. That is exactly what ITEM will do. To be continued for the next five years...

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