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EU Cross-border cooperation survey (2020)

EU Cross-border cooperation survey (2020)


Date: 15 oct 2020

Period: 2014-2020

Theme: Cooperation between regions and countries, Territorial cohesion

Languages:   en

The cross-border cooperation survey focuses on Interreg A (cross-border cooperation), which supports cooperation between adjacent NUTS III border regions in at least two different EU Member States and/or some countries outside the EU.

It explores:

  • Awareness of cross-border cooperation programmes,
  • Cross border mobility,
  • Attitudes towards citizens of neighbouring countries (cross-border Experience)
  • Obstacles to cross-border cooperation between border regions.

This survey in 2020 is the follow up of a previous exercise from 2015.  

Awareness of EU regional policy-funded cross-border activities has declined by 6pts since 2015. Only 24% of respondents who reside in the border regions covered by Interreg cross-border cooperation programmes have heard of any EU-funded cross-border cooperation activities in their area.

Cross-border Mobility has improved since 2015 reaching 56% (+3pp) of citizens living in EU border regions. Overall, of the six different reasons for travelling cross-broder evaluated, the most often mentioned by respondents is travel for leisure activities including tourist visits (58% +14pp), followed by travel to shop for goods or services (34%+8pp).

The positive attitudes towards citizens of neighbouring countries measures in 2015 are confirmed in 2020. A large majority of people living in EU border regions would feel comfortable about having a citizen from another country covered by an Interreg cross-border cooperation programme as a neighbour (91%), work colleague (89%), family member (88%) or manager (82%).

In line with the previous edition, respondents are more likely to consider living in a border region as an opportunity (38%) than an obstacle (3%). Of the six potential obstacles tested, Languages differences (52%) and legal and administrative differences (44%) remains the most mentioned obstacles (52%) to cross-border cooperation. This proportion has however decreased respectively by -5pp and -2pp since the previous edition.