ITEM Annual Conference 2016 reports published

Europe under pressure: effects for border regions – 25 years after the Maastricht Treaty

Brexit is a fact. The residents of the United Kingdom have given their opinion, Prime Minister Cameron has resigned. Reforms of the European Union seem necessary. What will be emphasised? Further cooperation or further closing of borders? What does that mean to us, residents of Europe’s oldest Euregion, who live within a stone’s throw of the border and are meanwhile not hindered by the border anymore but for its administrative acts?

What does it mean to our British fellow citizens, who have been living in this Euregion or elsewhere within Europe for many years, who are working here and have built an economic and social corpus? Will they now lose their European citizenship? Their right of work, residence and free movement? Many of them were prohibited from participating in the referendum in the United Kingdom because they have lived outside of the United Kingdom for more than 15 years. We here in Maastricht as well want to discuss with the world of politics about their rights and status as European citizens.

In 2016, 25 years after the negotiations about the European citizenship and a borderless Europe took place in Maastricht, the border within and outside the European Union still plays an important role. How can a free movement of persons, goods, services and capital be maintained if the political and humanitarian crisis is closing borders? How will particularly the border regions of the old Member States, where it is impossible to imagine life without free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, deal with the situation? How free is the cross-border citizen from a border region really when he wants to (go) work just over the national border at less than 10 kilometres of his home? ITEM investigates cross-border cooperation and mobility. Particularly now!

Will the (new) national and European legislation be tested against effects on those who make use of the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital? Against effects on border regions where – so can be assumed – most free movement of persons may be expected?

The cross border impact assessment 2016, which ITEM researchers initiated in the spring, includes the understanding of the effects of national and European legislation on border regions. Ranging from the tax treaty between the Netherlands-Germany to Interreg, from diploma recognition to coordination of social security; the ITEM cross border impact assessment will on 10 different subjects provide an insight in the effects on border regions of particularly the old Member States.

Find the reports here.