November 5, 2015

Overcoming the Remaining Obstacles to Cross Border Cooperation: Commission Seeks Views from Citizens

The EU Commission Wants Your Views on Obstacles to Cross Border Cooperation.

On the occasion of the European Cooperation Day and a week after the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Interreg, the Commissioner for Regional and Urban Policy Ms Corina Cretu launched a public consultation on overcoming obstacles in border regions in Vienna, Austria on Monday 21 September.  Numerous legal and administrative borders still exist and add a burden on cross border activities.

As a result, a significant economic potential remains untapped in our border regions. With this public consultation, the Commission will be able to take stock of the opinion of 185 million EU citizens living in border regions in regards to the obstacles they are facing in their everyday life and their suggestions on how to overcome them.

Although Interreg has been an important part in alleviating border obstacles and enhancing a spirit of cooperation, Interreg funding is not the only answer. Many of these obstacles call for changes in laws and/or administrative procedures.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) therefore wants to examine what obstacles remain and how they affect people, organisations, businesses and public authorities in border regions. This analysis could in the future be used to assess whether the Commission can take further action, either on its own initiative or together with national and regional authorities. The consultation covers both internal EU border regions, as well as border regions encompassing regions in EU countries and EFTA/EEA countries. It will run from 21 September to 21 December 2015.

The results will be made publicly available online in the beginning of 2016, and will also feed into a study which aims to produce conclusions and practical suggestions on how the EU and its partners can ease remaining obstacles. CCBS Director Ruth Taillon is a member of the Stakeholders Network that DG REGIO has convened to support this study.

If you are making a submission using the DG REGIO questionnaire 
or contributing in a different way, to the public consultation, please share your submission with the Centre for Cross Border Studies.  OR – if you have some issues you want to have included – but don’t wish to complete the questionnaire – CCBS will be happy to compile your comments for consideration as part of the Commission’s review.

For further information please visit here.