Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions, 20-21 September 2017


In September, the European Commission plans to adopt the Communication "Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions". To mark its formal adoption a launch event will take place on 20-21 September in Brussels.

The aim of the Communication is to highlight ways in which Europe can reduce the complexity, length and costs of cross-border interaction and promote the pooling of services along internal borders. It looks at what needs to be improved to ensure that border citizens can take full advantage of the opportunities offered by both sides of the border. By doing this, the European Union can boost its border regions and contribute to the creation of growth and jobs across the Union.

The Communication is the result of two years of intensive research and dialogue with border stakeholders, national authorities of Member States and partner countries and regional/local authorities. During the conference, the Communication's findings on persisting legal and administrative obstacles to border interaction will be outlined. The event will also provide a good opportunity to share existing good practices and to agree a common roadmap to boost EU Border Regions by removing such obstacles or preventing their emergence in the future.

The event will start on 20 September afternoon with a keynote speech from Commissioner Corina Crețu and will be closed 21 September with a networking launch. A cocktail reception is foreseen at end of the first meeting day at the meeting venue.

Simultaneous interpretation is provided from/to French, English, German, Italian and Polish. The event will be live web-streamed (in English only).

Programme and Presentations

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Moderator: Ms Nathalie Verschelde
Interreg, Cross-Border Cooperation, Internal Borders, DG Regional and Urban Policy

14:30 – 15:00

Keynote Speech:

  • Ms Corina Creţu, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy
    "Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions – Why it is time to act"

15:00 – 15:30

Introductory Session:

  • View from the European Regions, Mr Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of European Committee of the Regions
  • View from the European Parliament, Mr Jeroen Lenaers, Member of the European Parliament

Q&A session

16:00 – 17:15

Session I – Working and Studying across the Border:
Introduction by Mr Jordi Curell Gotor, Director, Labour Mobility, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
Panel exchange with:

  • Ms Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot, Director, Youth, Education and Erasmus+, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
  • Mr Hans Mooren, Senior Policy Officer, Benelux Union PDF
  • Dr Anette Fuhr, INFOBEST Network PDF

Q&A session

17:15 – 18:30

Session II – Doing Business across the Border:
Introduction by Mr Hubert Gambs, Director, Modernisation of the Single Market, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Panel exchange with:

  • Mr Andrea Servida, Head of Unit eGovernment and Trust, DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology PDF
  • Mr Erik Joosten, Founder and CEO, Arion Holding B.V.
  • Ms Sandra Forsén, Head of Office, Øresunddirekt Business Consulting Services PDF

Q&A session


Thursday, 21 September 2017

09:00 – 10:15

Session III – Accessing Public Services across the Border:

Introduction by Mr Andrzej Jan Rys, Director, Health systems, medical products and innovation, DG Health and Food Safety
Panel exchange with:

  • Ms Gudrun Schulze, Team Leader, Transport Networks, DG Mobility and Transport PDF
  • Mr Henri Lewalle, Expert on Franco-Belgian Agreements on Cross-border Health Care PDF
  • Mr Sören Bollmann, Project Manager, Municipality of Frankfurt/Oder

Q&A session

10:30 – 11:45

Session IV – Preventing and Overcoming Border Obstacles:

Introduction by Ms Lena Andersson Pench, Director, Territorial Co-operation, Macro-regions and Programmes Implementation I, DG Regional and Urban Policy PDF
Panel exchange with:

  • Mr Gyula Ocskay, Secretary General, Knowledge Development: Central European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives (CESCI) PDF
  • Mr Camille Gira, Secretary of State, Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Luxembourg PDF
  • Prof. Martin Unfried, Maastricht University, Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross-border Cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) PDF

Q&A session

11:45 – 12:30

Concluding Remarks and Looking Ahead:

  • MrJean Peyrony, Director-General, Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT)
  • Mr Priidu Ristkok, Head of the Regional Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance of Estonia, Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
  • Ms Lena Andersson Pench, Director, Territorial Co-operation, Macro-regions and Programmes Implementation I, DG Regional and Urban Policy PDF

Q&A session