Change the perspective! From cross-border to interaction area



Register for the event


Dresden, Germany

Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER)

11 June 2019 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

Weberplatz 1
D-01217 Dresden

The European Union’s has 40 internal land border regions, representing 40% of its territory and close to 30% of its population (European Commission, 2017). Albeit with different magnitude, border externalities are adversely affecting all border regions, increasing social cost. The notion of inefficiencies (market and government failures) caused by borders suggest that border regions have to be perceived as functional areas. Such areas need a common vision, governance and a set of actions designed to minimise inefficiencies. For nearly three decades, Interreg has been a major instrument in Europe to support cross-border visions, governance and actions. Meanwhile, this instrument is taken for granted and even criticised for an alleged lack of tangible results and for generating inefficiencies itself. A closer look at cross-border investments, however, suggests that Interreg has been reducing negative border externalities on many different levels, including environmental costs, market inefficiencies as well as inefficiencies in public services (ESPON, 2019). The performance framework of Interreg programmes does not fully capture the long-term net impact. Even small-scale soft cooperation projects are capable of increasing the net social impact in the long-run beyond the projects’ and programmes’ lifetime. Yet, cross-border stakeholders have always been confronted with the questions as how to better capture inefficiencies in functional border areas that need public intervention and how to measure the net social benefits of the respective public intervention.

This ESPON seminar is all about empirical knowledge and reduction of inefficiencies in border areas, taking a closer look at Central Europe and in particular the German-Polish-Czech border regions. You are invited to listen to success stories from Joint Secretariats, to visions of policymakers, monitoring and evaluation methodologies of spatial planners and economists as well as reflections from post-2020 programming stakeholders. The seminar features among others interventions from five Interreg programmes, DG Regio, DG RTD, DG GROW, territorial researchers and Interreg managing authorities. It seeks to answer as to:

  • how have cross-border public investments been transforming border areas into interaction areas;
  • what is needed to determine the right vision for a border area;
  • how to determine the right intervention areas for post-2020 investments;
  • what is the net benefit maximising quantity of cross-border public investments;
  • how to isolate the net social impact of cross-border public investments (in particular the Interreg value added);
  • how to ensure efficient use of Interreg along with other sources such as Horizon Europe, COSME, LIFE, etc.

The seminar is open to all types of border stakeholder needed to constitute an interaction area including current and prospective Interreg beneficiaries (public administrations, research and education facilities, NGOs, clusters, private sector, etc.), members of Interreg monitoring committees, Managing Authorities, Euroregions, EGTCs, cross-border service providers, spatial planners and other border region scholars.


ESPON Seminar Programme

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