On 5 June AEBR held its first online forum to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on border regions and on cross-border cooperation. The virtual “round-table” was introduced by AEBR’s Secretary-General Martin Guillermo Ramirez and moderated by the AEBR’s President Ann-Sofi Backgren.
Eight speakers representing organisations located on different European borders (Germany-Czech Republic, Ireland–United Kingdom, Germany-France, Hungary-Romania-Serbia, Belgium-The Netherlands, Spain-Portugal, Spain-France, Italy-Austria) shared their experiences as frontline actors coping with the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic. Specific attention was dedicated to the drawbacks of the national borders’ closure and to the effects that other national and EU measures had (and are having) on cross-border cooperation.
Despite differences arising from the peculiarities of each territory, some common traits were highlighted by the contributors. Particularly, two aspects were recurrent: the scarce coordination between the national authorities and border administrations concerning the suspension of the regular mobility, but also the essential role that cross-border structures had in supporting local citizens and economic actors during the crisis.
The great participation of attendees proved the topic of the forum to be of interest for many other stakeholders around Europe.
A full report of the event is available here.
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