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Border Focal Point

The European Union has been investing in cross-border cooperation for 25 years via Interreg, which is funded under the European Territorial Cooperation goal of the ESIF. Through these investments much has been achieved to enhance cooperation and alleviate border obstacles.

Cross-border Review

Commission's Communication "Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border regions", adopted on 20 September 2017, 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 which took place from July 2015 to February 2017 thanks to DG REGIO initiative "Cross-Border Review".

The initiative had the objective to respond to the challenges still persisting in border regions, despite 25 years of funding through the Interreg programmes. Crossing borders to find employment, receive better healthcare, make use of public facilities or receive emergency support can still cause difficulties. Taxation or pension rights issues, non-recognition of rights or standards, impossibility to operate joint emergency services are still problems that exist today. Most of the remaining obstacles stem from diverging national legislations on either side of the border (national legislation is "border-blind"), incompatible administrative processes, or simply lack of common territorial planning.

The "Cross-Border Review" was structured around 3 pillars:

  • study, to provide an inventory of critical border obstacles together with examples of how these have been addressed on certain borders,
  • public consultation,
  • Four workshops with key stakeholders