Cross-border cooperation is essentially about "filling the gaps". It does so through agreed cross-border 'analysis and response' strategies, formulated in each of the 52 cross-border programmes. It deals with a wide range of issues, which include:
- Encouraging entrepreneurship, especially the development of SMEs, tourism, culture and cross-border trade;
- Improving joint management of natural resources;
- Supporting links between urban and rural areas;
- Improving access to transport and communication networks;
- Developing joint use of infrastructure;
- Administrative, employment and equal opportunities work.
Whether the challenge relates to infrastructure (building bridges), to markets and services (linking universities to business to clients) or to cultural or linguistic barriers, cross-border co-operation is intended to address them.