MACIMIDE Co-Director Hildegard Schneider together with ITEM researchers Pim Mertens and Martin Unfried on corona measures taken in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium

ITEM’s report on corona measures taken in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The expertise centrum ITEM (The Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility) operates the convergence of research, counselling, knowledge exchange and training activities in the domain of cross-border mobility and cooperation. ITEM currently is collecting the measures taken by the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium in response to the COVID-19 crisis.


Monitoring and collecting information to support the work of ITEM’s stakeholders during the crisis.

COVID-19 is a global threat and the national measures taken by governments to contain the spread of the Corona virus have far-reaching consequences, particularly in border areas. Expertise center ITEM is monitoring the situation in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and has created an environment on its Cross-border Portal. Here the main national and European measures are collected and analyzed for the border region on border effects. To provide an overall picture, ITEM will monitor the measures taken by the national and regional governments in our border-regions

Information and comparisons can be found on topics such as the border situation and national measures combatting COVID-19, the national exit strategies, economic support measures for entrepreneurs and the tax and social security consequences of working from home as cross-border worker.

Our aim is to produce information with respect to daily problems of people and companies. We are in close contact with cross-border information points, Euregions and other important citizen organisations. The information is updated on a regular basis, for which ITEM is happy to receive input from external parties. For information or problems you can contact us via

Annual Cross-Border Impact Assessment.

With the Corona crisis free movement cross-border mobility between Member States is limited and not evident anymore. It is clear that the Corona crisis is having an impact on life in (cross-)border regions. For example, the Belgian border with Germany and the Netherlands have been physically closed for months (for persons without essential reasons to cross the border). So, the consequences for our cross-border regions will be significant. This means that the effects of the Corona crisis may make some of the questions of our annual Cross-Border Impact assessment irrelevant. We are taking this into account. The effects of the crisis itself is an important part of the 2020 assessment. Nevertheless, we would like to present the topics that we are working on in collaboration with interdisciplinary teams of researchers – for the time being.

ITEM’s main task is to help remove border barriers within the EU. That is why we publish a detailed annual report on which we regard as the key issues that could create such barriers. These include, for example, barriers that arise for people living in one country but working in another, or barriers inhibiting local authorities working together on cross-border projects. By identifying these themes, we hope to make a scientifically sound contribution to improving cross-border mobility and the socio-economic development of cross-border regions.

Consequences of the Corona crisis for cross-border regions.

As mentioned above, this could still change considerably in light of the developments in cross-border regions. For example, it is certainly necessary to examine over the course of a few months what the consequences will be following from the current organisation of national health care and crisis management across the border. There are already signs that instruments such as national statistics on the number of infections and the closing of national borders do not take into account the regional and cross-border challenges in the Corona crisis.

As usual, we will present the final report at our annual conference. This year it will take place on 19 and 20 November in Zeeland.

This year’s topics

  1. The impact of the Corona crisis on life in cross-border regions and the effects of cross-border coordination or misalignment of crisis response.
  2. Decentralisation in the welfare state: a Dutch case study.
  3. Cross-border job placement and training budgets.
  4. German basic pension (“Grundrente”)
  5. Sustainable development and quality of life in the Netherlands from a Euregional perspective
  6. End of German coal-based electricity generation (“Kohleausstieg“)

For more information, see: