Workshop "Better evidence on cross-border regions and INTERREG impacts"
ESPON at the European Week of Regions and Cities 2019


Brussels, Belgium

SQUARE - Brussels Convention Centre

10 October 2019

Rue Mont des Arts
1000 Brussels

Cross-border (CB) regions have a strong economic potential which is still untapped. A recent study indicates that if only one-fifth of existing legal and administrative obstacles were solved a gain of 2% in GDP – 1 million jobs – could be expected in CB regions. However, for such potential to be attained, CB interactions need to be strongly taken into account in policymaking and decision-making. Decisions on territorial planning and provision of public services risk not being optimal in the absence of a clear view on CB phenomena. For example, understanding commuting flows (and their potential) is essential for planning transport networks and public transportation. Data is also essential to fully grasp the impact that cooperation has on the socio-economic development of CB regions, thereby enabling them to unleash their potential. On a parallel track, when considering the financial side of EC support for CB Cooperation – Interreg – in-depth, sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the actual impact of the programmes in their territories in a manner that can be easily understood and communicated to citizens is also needed.

Defining the geographical limits of a CB region is also a subject of debate. However, some initiatives are being taken by various organisations to improve the knowledge base on cross-border regions: e.g. a group of national statistical offices has just concluded a study on methodologies to measure cross-border commuters; Germany and France, in the follow up of the recent Aachen Treaty, are cooperating to ensure availability of data on their borders; the JRC is proposing a new approach to delimit CB regions based on driving time to border crossings. In 2018 ESPON teamed up with Interact through the ESPON TEVI project to develop a new set of territorial indicators which are potentially more representative of the impact of individual programmes 'on the ground'.

The aim of this session is to provide an overview of recent tools which have been made available for CB stakeholders, both considering the CB interactions in general, and the impact of Interreg programmes in particular. It will also allow for a discussion on the main challenges and the way forward for the promotion of CB knowledge. A prototype web tool of the ESPON TEVI project will also be presented together with how it can be potentially used as a complementary instrument for developing post-2020 intervention logics, evaluation and communication strategies for ETC programmes.

 ESPON EGTC, European Commission - DG JRC, European Commission - DG REGIO

Expert at the ESPON EGTCGavin Daly

Registration: You can register on the official page of the EWRC

Registration deadline: 27/09/2019