European Cross-Border Citizens' Alliance was launched in 2020. It is an initiative that aims to better the life of European citizens living in the EU's border regions.
The European Cross-Border Citizens' Alliance has multiple stakeholders; these are the:
- European Committee of the Regions
- Association of European Border Regions (AEBR)
- Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT)
- Central European Service for Cross-border Initiatives (CESCI)
The internal border regions cover 40% of the EU's territory, accounting for 30% of its population (150 million people) and hosting almost 2 million cross-border commuters. Since the establishment of the single market and the Schengen area, many new opportunities have been created in border regions, and these regions in many cases have ceased to be peripheries, and have been turned into places of growth.
Challenges to living in border regions
Nevertheless, many obstacles still remain. Citizens living in border regions continue to encounter difficulties in their daily lives, whether it be finding a job, accessing healthcare, everyday commuting or overcoming administrative problems. Similarly, businesses face obstacles that hamper their growth and local and regional authorities (LRAs) continue to face challenges in establishing deeper cross-border cooperation such as cross-border public services.
These challenges became even more apparent during the COVID-19 crisis where after decades of free movement, borders were closed overnight putting citizens and businesses in border regions in great difficulty and resulting in massive negative economic and social impacts. It is therefore crucial to overcome these obstacles in order to mobilise the opportunities that open borders offer to citizens and businesses and to take the necessary measures to achieve and maintain this even in a crisis situation.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the crisis also animated multiple forms of cooperation, and revealed cross-border interdependencies and solidarity, that now must be organised and strengthened through European and national public policies taking fully into account the specificities of cross-border regions.
Declaration and the Resolution on the Future of cross-border cooperation
On the right hand side, you will be able to read the European Cross-border Citizens' Alliance declaration Cross-Border regions at the heart of tomorrow's Europe which led to the Adoption of the Resolution Vision for Europe: Future of Cross-Border Cooperation on 1 July 2021 by the CoR Plenary.
This resolution is a result of numerous discussions, stakeholder consultations and public consultations that took place from July 2020 to July 2021, and it outlines concrete proposals of the Alliance and the CoR towards the Conference on the Future of Europe.