Brussels, 28 January 2016: Border Obstacles Review, 2nd Stakeholders' Workshop - First results of the public consultation on overcoming obstacles in border regions presented:


The first results of the public consultation on overcoming obstacles in border regions were presented by DG Regio and the contractor (METIS) during an expert workshop on 28th January in Brussels to a group of stakeholders and other departments of the EU Commission and the EGTCs Platform of the Committee of the Regions, as part of the tasks included in the current study to review border obstacles in the EU.

 Among the stakeholders, the AEBR was invited through its Secretary General Martín Guillermo Ramírez, and AEBR members Euregio Sonderjylland-Schleswig, represented by Peter Hansen; Eurodistrict Regio Pamina,replica watches represented by Frédéric Siebenhaar; and CESCI, represented by Gyula Ocskay. 

The first results of the consultation stressed 623 replies received from all EU countries, showed that most relevant obstacles for respondents have a legal and administrative nature, and they have to do with employment issues. Language barriers, difficult physical access, economic disparities and public authorities' interest were also matters of concern for a high proportion of participants. A summary report will be available in the first quarter of 2016.

During the workshop, two exercises were made regarding the identification of several type of obstacles and five most relevant policy fields in order to take the debates into account when selecting the policy areas for the study. These are the type of obstacles that were defined: 

  • recently solved (e.g. CB health care in Cerdanya through a CB hospital),
  • with a high potential to be solved in a short term (e.g. several pure administrative issues), or
  • complex obstacles which require disproportionate efforts to get solved (e.g. generation of trust in some border areas, personal protection data).

The discussion on policy fields showed the interest in tackling spatial planning and services of general interest, labour market, including education and vocational training, business development and innovation, transport and mobility, as well as environmental and climate change issues, with a special focus on sustainable energy production and provision. 

Some of these policies are more cross-cutting, others are mostly addressed through national mainstream policies, and only a few are effectively addressed at EU (or at cross-border) level.

A new workshop with experts is planned later this year.

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