Winds of change for border areas

There is a growing interest in cross-border collaboration in the European Union despite Brexit, according to Maastricht University's Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility (ITEM).

Interest in ITEM's annual cross-border impact assessment is an example of this. 'Positive developments have been seen in Brussels, The Hague and Düsseldorf, more specifically the new government of North Rhine-Westphalia, all of which contribute to the further consolidation and progress of cross-border partnerships. This is good news, particularly for border areas that are strongly dependent on open borders, a stable internal market and free movement of EU nationals,' says Martin Unfried, boundary eliminator and researcher at ITEM.

The cross-border assessment drafted by ITEM generates scientific insights into themes involving cross-border mobility and cooperation. The report is intended as a valuable tool and resource for policy-makers and identifies the positive and negative effects of current and future legislation and initiatives.

Current dossiers
Topics for the annual assessment are submitted by partners, such as border information points, regional governments, Euregions and trade unions. The 2017 assessment focuses on the specific financial effects for frontier workers and buisinesses (Dutch-German Tax Treaty or the 90% regulation and coordination on social security), the impact on economic development (introduction of toll vignette for German motorways and the Belgian traveller's ID) and Euregional collaboration and cohesion.

Annual conference
Developments on the topic of cross-border cooperation will be discussed on Friday 10 November 2017 during the annual ITEM conference, this year held in Düsseldorf and organised in collaboration with the city of Düsseldorf. During the conference, the results of the cross-border impact assessment will be presented to Karl-Heinz Lambertz, president of the European Committee of the Regions. Click here for more information about the conference.


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