Border regions: lessons learnt from the covid-19 crisis and recommendations for the future

AuthorRubio, Jean; Peyrony, Jean; Viaggi, Raffaele
A. Introduction
This chapter aims at drawing lessons from an assessment of the impact the COVID-
19 measures along EU internal borders on cross-border communities at large
(businesses, workers, citizens) and at presenting recommendations for the future,
addressed to the European Commission on how the resilience of cross-border
regions could be improved in case further crises emerge.
The sanitary crisis has challenged all collective organizations (public authorities,
markets, civil societies). In particular, it has been a shock for cross-border
governance, which insufficiencies it has revealed. It has also highlighted our many
socio-economic or human interdependencies, not only at the global or European
level, but also at the local cross-border level. In the same time, it appears as an
opportunity to accelerate necessary changes, particularly in CB context. Following
recommendations are based on the lessons we can learn from the COVID 19 crisis,
in case of resurgence of the pandemics, but they also apply to the management of
other sorts of crises, and more generally to the management of borders and cross-
border regions, beyond the crisis. Most of these proposals were already on the
table before the crisis. Far from invalidating them, the crisis has made them even
more necessary.
These regions are at the heart of the European project. The recommendations we
will present now focus on them, even if they may concern all regions. National
borders are specific, but iconic of all administrative borders, which require
functional approaches vs exclusively institutional routines. Implementing them
would allow a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for
themselves, and for the whole Europe.
The section will successively address actions to be taken in favour of border
at the level of these border regions (I);
within the framework of a bottom up, multi-level governance (II);
at the EU level (management of crises; cohesion policy and
particularly Interreg) (III).
In each case, actions will be based on lessons learnt during the crisis, allowing to
draw some principles for new border policies.
B. Main lessons learnt from the Covid19 crisis:
At the level of border regions
Bottom-up / multilevel
EU level

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