The European Commission has launched a new initiative offering expert tailored support to break down cross-border barriers to jobs and investments.
The initiative, named ‘Border Focal Point’, aims to unlock the economic potential of EU border regions.
“For businesses, workers and students, navigating between different administrative and legal systems remains complex and costly,” the Commission said.
“In line with President Juncker’s call to ensure fairness in our single market in his 2017 State of the Union speech, the Border Focal Point will help border regions cooperate better with a set of concrete actions.”
The new scheme will seek to improve access to jobs and services such as healthcare and public transport systems, as well as facilitate business across the border.
“Over a quarter of Europe’s wealth is produced in its border regions but their full economic potential remains untapped,” said Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu. “We are looking at a gold mine of opportunities, just waiting to be explored.”
“The Commission will provide tailored support to these regions, for the direct bene t of their inhabitants.”
The Border Focal Point will consist of Commission experts in cross border issues, who will offer advice to national and regional authorities by gathering and sharing good practices through the creation of a new EU-wide online network.
Two million workers and students already commute daily or weekly across the border, according to the Commission, and a focal point of the initiative will be on jobs.
To help people nd a job across the border, the Border Focal Point will support regions looking to deepen their cooperation. They can get advice on mutual recognition of qualications, joint study programmes or coaching services for entrepreneurs.
The Border Focal Point will centralise information on good practices in the eld of cross border employment services, such as the joint network created by Galicia in Spain and the northern region of Portugal and supported by the EU’s job mobility portal EURES.
In doing so, the Border Focal Point can contribute to the setting-up of the future European Labour Authority announced by President Juncker in the 2017 State of the Union address, in order to strengthen cooperation between labour market authorities at all levels better manage cross-border situations.
The Border Focal Point will also pool knowledge and resources to make public services in border regions more attractive and inclusive.
It will also provide support for a greater alignment of rules for setting up businesses, share good practices from other border regions and promote an increased use of online
The initiative will be operational as from January next year.