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Life in border regions – tackling the challenges, CoR, Brussels, 17 April 2023

The EGTC Platform at the CoR, AEBR, MOT and CESCI created the European Cross-Border Citizen’s Alliance during the worst of the pandemic. They are now organizing an online (through Interactio) and in-person conference on “Living in Border Regions – Tackling the challenges” at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels (Rue Belliard 101, Brussels, Room JDE 52) on 17 April 2023 in the afternoon. 

The conference will be interpreted in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Hungarian.
The registrations are open until 13 April, and you can register here.
You can find here below the programme.
As we have reported for decades and b-solutions illustrates every day, despite European integration, legal and administrative obstacles in border areas continue to exist, and new ones emerge. The Commission’s CB Review and subsequent 2017 Communication on border regions, its consequences like the creation of the Border Focal Point and the launch of b-solutions, the 2021 Report and the CoR’s Resolution on the Future of CBC, among other initiatives, have clearly shown the need to implement new and effective measures to solve these gaps. The European Cross-Border Mechanism was supposed to be the icing on the cake, but it was stopped at the Council. This conference will look into daily issues faced by the citizens, local administrations and businesses and why having a legal instrument to address such challenges is so necessary.

14:00 Welcome coffee for the participants present at the CoR in front of the conference room JDE 51


14:30 Opening: Magali Altounian (Renew/FR), CoR member, Deputy Mayor of Nice and CoR rapporteur on the opinion European Cross-Border Mechanism 2.0


14:45 Challenges and obstacles faced by border regions residents; examples from the regions

Moderator: Martín Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General of the AEBR

In the first panel, we will welcome European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs) representatives and representatives of Local and Regional Authorities from Europe’s border regions, who will present the issues the citizens and businesses, as well as Local and Regional Authorities, encounter in their daily lives. They will present various issues that hamper life in border regions and prevent economic and cultural integration of border regions.

Employability in the health & social sector at the Spanish-French BorderLeyre Azcona, EGTC Eurorégion Nouvelle-Aquitaine – Euskadi – Navarre

Cross-border mobility of jobseekers and vocational training at the Belgian-French borderLoïc Delhuvenne, EGTC Eurometropolis Lille – Kortrijk – Tournai

Border obstacles linked to wood construction at the Norwegian-Swedish borderAnnika Daisley, Project Manager Border obstacles & opportunities, Svinesund Committee

Trans-national business incubator at the Polish-Lithuanian borderRafal Peszka, expert in cross-border cooperation

Cross-border local farmers’ markets at the Croatian-Hungarian BorderDr Judit Füzé, Deputy Director of the EGTC Pannon

Cross-border renewable energy exchange at the German-Dutch BorderJoris Bengevoord, Mayor of the City of Winterswijk

Questions and answers


15:45 Debate: What can the European Union and its Member States do to make life in border regions easier?

Moderator: Gyula Ocskay, Director of CESCI

With the Regulation on the European Cross-Border Mechanism blocked in the Council, the border regions are left wondering how to address border obstacles they face and what is the way forward. In this panel, representatives of different institutions and Member States will debate possible ways ahead.

Magali Altounian (Renew/FR), CoR member, Deputy Mayor of Nice (FR) and CoR rapporteur on the opinion “European Cross-Border Mechanism 2.0”

Sandro Gozi (Renew/FR), Member of the European Parliament

Philippe Voiry, Ambassador for intergovernmental commissions and cross-border cooperation, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of France

Péter Kiss-Parciu, Deputy state-secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary

Nikola Dobroslavić (EPP/HR), President of Dubrovnik-Neretva Region, Member of the CoR

16:55 ClosingPavel Branda (ECR/CZ), Member of the CoR, Rapporteur on Cross-Border Public Services and Chair of CoR’s Interregional Group on Cross-Border Cooperation


 register here

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