Five recommendations in times of increasing border controls
Since 2015, temporary border controls have increased at the EU's internal borders for various reasons, negatively affecting cross-border cooperation. Here we can present five recommendations to reach a way forward.
On 11 October, Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak organized an event in Brussels with the title "What is the point of cross-border cooperation if the borders are closed?". Dialogue between audience participants and panelists led to five recommendations on the way forward for cross-border cooperation in times of temporary border controls.
The five recommendations are not listed in order of priority and should serve as a guideline to be adapted to the local context of the individual border areas at the EU's internal borders.
- The Schengen agreement should be recognized securing the free movement across borders.
- Be transparent when introducing stricter border controls to make the practical consequences more predictable for the area that will be directly affected (commuters, businesses etc.).
- Involve the citizens on both (all) sides of the border when analyzing the consequences of stricter border control(s).
- A cost-benefit analysis should be done before implementation to secure proportionality. Through the collection of relevant data, opportunities and challenges across the border(s) should be identified.
- Establish a forum with representatives from local, regional and national level in order to discuss the practical consequences of introducing stricter border controls (e.g. task force, platform).
About the event session
On October 11, the EU programme Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak invited to a Participatory Lab during the European Week of Regions and Cities External link, opens in new window. in Brussels. The topic of the event "What is the point of cross-border cooperation if the borders are closed?" refers to the fact that, since 2015, temporary border controls have increased at EU's internal borders for various reasons, such as migration, crime prevention and covid-19.
During the event we discussed possible ways forward in respect of the Schengen agreement securing free movement across borders in Europe. The audience was involved through interactive tools and the response fueled the discussion and also served as an inspiration and led to five recommendations.
The discussion was moderated by Johan Wessman from the Øresund Institute and with a panel consisting of:
- Sandra Forsén, Senior Advisor Freedom of Movement Council, within the Nordic Council of Ministers
- Mätta Ivarsson, alternate member of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), the Swedish Delegation
- Marc Perera Christensen, Vice President of the Danish Chamber of Commerce.
The European Week of Regions and Cities External link, opens in new window. (#EURegionsWeek) is the biggest annual Brussels-based event dedicated to cohesion policy. It has grown to become a neutral platform to discuss common challenges for Europe's regions and cities.