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.
Sign the declaration
We invite all interested citizens living in border regions, as well as any citizens interested in the topic, to join the Alliance and sign the declaration which is available in all the official EU languages plus Serbian and Ukranian. We also invite cross-border structures, such as the European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs) and the Euroregions, as well as local and regional authorities, NGOs and businesses to join the Alliance and participate in our work on the future of cross-border cooperation.
You can download the declaration in your preferred language from the Related Information section
Based on the input gained through this Alliance, the European Committee of the Regions plans to adopt a Resolution on the Future of Cross-Border Cooperation until 2050, which should serve as an official contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe.