ITEM Research

ITEM Cross-Border Impact Assessment

Project description Jump to latest ITEM Cross-border Impact Assessment 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016

With its annual Cross-Border Impact Assessment, ITEM provides more insight into the effects on cross-border regions of European and national legislative and policy initiatives. The report is intended as a valuable tool for policymakers at regional, national and European level in making decisions regarding (cross-)border regions. In particular, these impact assessments help to identify existing or future cross-border effects and thus contribute to the political debate. In addition, the results of the examination of individual dossiers allow for timely adaptation of legislative proposals while they are still pending.

The Cross-border Impact Assessment and the separate dossiers are available at the 
ITEM Cross-border Portal.

Project description

When: Annually (from January to September)
Topic: labour mobility
Title: 'ITEM Cross-border Impact Assessment'

What are the effects of national and EU policy and legislation on border regions?

Are cross border workers affected by newly or soon to be implemented national or EU policy/legislation?

One of the main objectives of the Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and mobility / ITEM is to set-up and implement an annual cross border impact assessment report. Currently, there is a lack of information concerning the (expected) impact of national and EU policy and legislation on border regions. ITEM annual cross border impact assessment will start revealing the effects.

ITEM’s cross border impact assessment is aimed at scanning for relevant ex-ante and ex-post legislative and policy related dossiers of the European Union, national (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg) and regional authorities (i.e. North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Flanders, the Walloon provinces in Belgium, the German-speaking community in Belgium) that might (positively or negatively) impact cross border workers, cross border cooperation and regional socio-economic development.

The assessment offers additional and complementary insights to national and EU initiatives, and aims to be a valuable tool and resource for policy makers when making decisions concerning border regions.

Each year a selection of most relevant topics, that are most worthwhile to study and analyse into more detail, are made based on input from stakeholders. This can be done with an online tool in which stakeholders can contact ITEM directly, by submitting information about dossiers that might be interesting for assessment. ITEM will create a shortlist and start researching the effects on border regions in the months thereafter.


Cross-border Impact Assessment 2020

Phase 1 -  Stakeholder consultation - December 2019/January 2020

The stakeholder consultation is the important first step of the annual ITEM Cross-Border Impact Assessment. Based on the full list of dossier suggestions, ITEM will draw up a shortlist of dossiers that will be analysed by its researchers and experts.

Cross-border Impact Assessment 2019


Dossier 1: The Qualifying Foreign Taxpayer Obligation (“90% rule”): An ex-post impact assessment
This year’s impact analysis of the Dutch Qualifying Foreign Taxpayers’ Obligation (kwalificerend buitenlandse belastingplicht, KBB), the so-called “90%-rule”, shows no evidence of an effect on the numbers and flows of cross-border workers to the Netherlands for the period 2012-2017. This Dossier provides an illustrative overview of the diverse population of cross-border workers in the Netherlands and its evolution in relation to labour and residential mobility.
Dossier 2: Cross-border effects of the Dutch Act on the Standardisation of Legal Status of Public Servants (Wnra)
The new Dutch Public Servants (Standardization of Legal Status) Act (WNRA), effective from January 2020, will have serious consequences for certain groups of cross-border workers, working in two (or more) countries. This Dossier provides an ex ante assessment of the law’s effects regarding their social security and pension situations – for example, for university staff doing home office when living in a different country than their State of employment. It also highlights the need for more information on part of the legislator.
Dossier 3: Ex ante evaluation of the proposed European Cross-Border Mechanism (ECBM)
This Dossier provides an ex-ante assessment of the proposed European Cross-Border Mechanism (ECBM). As initiated by the EU Commission, the ECBM aims to facilitate cross-border cooperation on projects and services by resolving conflicts between national legal provisions in cross-border regions. This thorough analysis assesses the proposal’s merits and potential drawbacks in relation to concrete examples along the German-Dutch and Dutch-Flemish border regions.
Dossier 4: Governance under the new Interreg Regulatio 2021-2027
The ‘Governance’-objective under the new Interreg regulation for 2021-2027 earmarks at least 15% budget for enhancing institutional capacity. This Dossier provides an ex-ante assessment of what ‘Governance’ means to different stakeholders in programme areas in the Benelux. A key debate concerns whether the new objective can and should be realised through projects or whether it requires innovative approaches to cooperation to transform programmes into a more strategic ‘framework building’ for cross-border cooperation.
Dossier 5: Cross-border monitoring: a real challenge
Data collection for cross-border monitoring has been a much-debated topic in recent years. As an exploratory study, this Dossier problematises how data collection is focused on the national level and it often ends at the border. Rather than assessing concrete effects, it critically reviews the increasing market for cross-border data. Recognising the available possibilities for advanced data processing, there is a plea for more (support and coordination of) transnational cooperation for making cross-border data broadly and publicly available
Dossier 6: Cross-border effects of the EU Nitrates Directive and manure quotas between NL/DE
This Dossier offers an ex-post assessment of the EU Nitrates Directive setting quotas for use of nitrates and manure. It discusses the Directive’s effects on current practices in cross-border manure trade and possible fraud at the Dutch-German border. Both States have exhibited implementation problems. From the (limited) available data no clear effect of the EU standards could be observed on sustainable development. As improvements in soil/water quality over time were hardly visible, so-called German ‘problem zones’ instead exhibit an excessive increase in nitrate levels close to the NL border.