26 October 2016

ITEM publishes effects for border regions in first cross-border impact assessment

The Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility / ITEM, established in 2015, has the important objective to identify the effects of laws and regulations for border regions. Therefore ITEM launched its Cross-border impact assessment in 2016. The results of this assessment are now published in the Cross-border impact assessment 2016 and make it clear that there are still many obstacles in the area of cross-border mobility.

One of ITEM’s research activities in which a scientific contribution is made to cross-border mobility and cooperation is the development and application of an annual cross-border impact assessment. This assessment has the aim to contribute to the exploration of potential negative or positive cross-border effects of planned legislation or policy initiatives and the identification of negative and positive cross border effects of existing policy or legislation. Examples of this are the new tax treaty between Germany and the Netherlands and its consequences on pensions of former mobile employees, including frontier workers.

In several dossiers, ITEM also investigated the way in which Member States of the European Union implemented the European directives, and how the results have expressed themselves in the reality of the situation at national level. One example is the dossier analysing the practices of recognition of diplomas in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, and the effects of this practice. As such, for some dossiers the assessment of cross-border impact was not restricted to an analysis of the legislation. The policies of implementing bodies, administrative capacities, and rules can likewise have a negative or positive effect, and so these were also investigated in a number of dossiers.

In the publication ‘Cross-border impact assessment 2016 - Summary’ the objective and methodology of the assessment is described and the assessment of ten different dossiers are included in condensed form. The document is available in Dutch, English, German and French.

In February 2016 ITEM began making an inventory of potential topics in the area of cross-border labour market and mobility. ITEM did this together with professionals and officials which deal with cross-border mobility and cooperation. The ‘working group cross-border impact assessment’, made up of employees of various ITEM partner organisations, has selected ten topics and produced dossiers for every topic.

ITEM’s Cross-border impact assessment 2016 consists out of assessments of the following ten dossiers:

  Subject Nature Formulation of question
Large-scale analyses
1 The new NL-DE tax treaty
a. Labour; b. Pension)  
Ex post /
Ex ante (in force since 1 January 2016), but tax impact for 2017 not yet known
What are possible effects of the new tax treaty between the Netherlands and Germany on frontier workers and former frontier workers, with a focus on labour and pension?  
2 Recognition of professional qualifications National application of Directive 2013/55/EU BE/NL/DE   Ex post
Recent EU Directive and national legislation, application in administrative practice
How does the recognition of certain significant professions work for the frontier labour market and what are the biggest effects on frontier workers (costs, procedures, complexity of the recognition of qualifications)?  
3 Cross-border cooperation Investigation of INTERREG programmes on the Dutch border   Ex post What were and are the effects of the new INTERREG programme and national programmes on the quality of the programmes (EMR, Netherlands-Germany, Flanders-Netherlands), approval, and closure of projects?  
Legal analyses  
4 Social security: illness and disability   Ex post     What consequences do the Dutch systems governing illness and disability have for the free movement of labour across the border, and can these lead to legal uncertainty?  
5 The qualifying foreign tax obligation of section 7.8, Income Tax Act, and EU law Ex post/Ex ante What impact does the Dutch 90% scheme have on frontier workers? Is this scheme in conflict with European law?  
6 Proposal for a directive amending Directive 96/71/EC (COM(2016) 128 def) Ex ante How good is the proposed revision of the EU posting of workers directive?  
7 Flexibilisation of the Old-Age Pension Commencement Date Act Ex ante What are the effects on the position of workers who have accrued both a Dutch General Old Age Pension and a statutory pension in another country?  
Evaluation with focus or Euregional Cohesion  
8 Cross-border employment services: Effects of mandate and capacities of the Dutch UWV Ex post What is the impact of the UWV’s current financing and mandate on the implementation of cross-border employment services?  
9 Cross-border train transport – Fourth Rail Package Ex ante What effect can be expected concerning the coordination surrounding the allocation and organization of cross-border interlocal public transport?  
Practical ad hoc evaluation of effects, Fontys Hogeschool  
10 The Belgian toll system for lorries Ex post What are the additional costs for cross-border transport for the logistics sector in Belgium/the Netherlands/Germany? What are the consequences in reference to the routes used by German and Dutch lorries?  

The Cross-border impact assessment will return annually with the aim to expose the effects for border regions and thus scientifically contributing to cross-border mobility and cooperation. The 2016 cross-border impact assessment can be downloaded on the ITEM website.