Policy Brief: Cross-border monitoring and observation in Europe

Cross-border regions are places of innovation and cooperation, with interdependencies that define territories and communities; however, they are also places of many interactions between different national laws and regional or local specificities. One important issue that often arises for these areas, as a vital step in maintaining a good operational climate, is whether the interactions between cross-border areas are being monitored at national/regional level or are only locally observed.

However, so far, research has underlined that access to relevant data sets for cross-border regions is still limited, ‘as transnational, national and regional data referring to cross-border territories is not structurally available for several organisational and methodological reasons.  Nevertheless, as this is a growing need, and some good examples are already set in place, the opportunity to scale up and build up a comprehensive, pan-Europe cross-border observation and monitoring approach is being supported at many levels, from European to local, as it could play an important role in removing obstacles and enhancing cohesion, advocating that all territorial data collected should be integrated at EU level.

This policy brief explores the main takeaways from research studies done at EU level, compiling the most relevant EU documents, as ESPON – European Territorial Observation Network – aims to support the upscaling of good practices for cross-border monitoring and observation to pan-European level.