What are borders today? :



 

Discussion event in the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Berlin, 9 May 2018

On the occasion of Europe Day on 9 May, the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, together with the Representation of Eastern Belgium, the Federation of Wallonia-Brussels and Wallonia, invited to a talk and a panel discussion with the title ‘What are borders today?’. The lecturers, Prof. Dr. Birte Nienaber, Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael North and Dr. Nathalie Christmann, demonstrated that European integration can by no means be taken for granted.

The on-going process of negotiating the borders within the EU was explained in an illustrative way. With a high level of commuting, the Greater Region is particularly affected by the suspension of the Schengen rules. Especially as a result of the partly reintroduced border controls, the borders once again became clearly noticeable, intervening in people's everyday lives. This creates a sense of a weakened European integration among the population and goes hand in hand with a perceived undermining of the social, territorial and economic cohesion.

In this context, the subsequent discussion noted that current challenges are mostly governed at the national level and that common European solutions are lacking. Therefore, the hope lies here on the initiatives of the EU Commission and a strengthening of European values. On the other hand, the importance of cross-border cooperation, which over a long period of time has built up cross-border administrative competencies, becomes apparent. By promoting such cooperation, the European Union has thus enabled a lasting and resilient cooperation of borders, which will play an important role in the future and can be exemplary in solving new challenges.

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