AuthorRubio, Jean; Peyrony, Jean; Viaggi, Raffaele
Border regions and their inhabitants have suffered a lot during the crisis. They
were impacted more severely than others. This has significantly contributed to
raise awareness, locally, but also at national and European level, on the need to
develop more EU solidarity and integration within and for border regions.
To conclude, the negative impacts of the crisis, disproportionally more severe in
border regions than in non border regions, justify that that CB regions are
identified by TFEU article 174 as deserving specific attention of public policies. The
crisis has proved that the border is a handicap when it creates obstacles, but an
asset when the border is open. Borders are places to imagine new policies, not
only to face crises, but also ordinary situations.
Targeted actions are needed to prevent future crises; EU coordination is needed;
multi-level governance is essential; contextualised and bottom up is a must.
These lessons do not only concern crises, but the permanent question of border
management and cross border development. Border closures have been a
counterfactual of CB cohesion. Interdependences revealed by the crisis require
new CB policies: functional approach considering persons in their CB living areas;
bottom- up multi-level governance involving CB regions, States and EU. The
relevance of ETC’s new devices, such as new policy objectives “Europe closer to
citizens” (PO 5), “A better cooperation governance” (ISO 1), and the draft
regulation “European cross border mechanism” (ECBM) is confirmed.
CB regions will be test cases, for the recovery and beyond. The present crisis
means danger, but also opportunity for Europe, to overcome, learn and develop
new policies in favour of persons and their living areas.
Taking into account the reality of CB interdependencies now invites us to give a
political dimension to cross-border and European integration. The contributions of
CB stakeholders, which will be collected through the process launched by the
Committee of the Regions in November 2020, under the label of the European
Cross-border Citizens Alliance, should be a major contribution to the Conference
on the Future of Europe.

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