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Fresh from the field

Cross-border commuting: the challenges of labour markets across European countries

European cross-border regions are laboratories of European Integration. Cross-border labour markets enhance citizens’ access to wider job opportunities, while employers can reach a wider pool of skills. All this while allowing individuals to keep on living on the territories they consider home, with much reduced social costs.

However, cross-border commuting – working and residing on different sides of a border even inside the European Union – does not come without challenges for individuals and organisations, and it implies the need for policies at local, regional, national and European levels, to properly take into account such challenges. Access to labour markets, social security, education, recognition of qualifications and fair taxation are policy areas that should deeply consider the specific context of cross-border regions.

To bring all these aspects together in the policy agenda, and to contribute to unleashing the potential of cross-border commuting, the Commission is organising in Brussels a conference titled “Vibrant Cross-Border Labour Markets” on 18 and 19 January 2023.

If you are interested in this subject, and want to join the conference, register now: (password: crossborder). You can choose to participate either onsite or follow the conference panels via live-streaming.

The x-ray photography of the ENI CBC world

Which is the average project duration? How are lead partners distributed throughout territories? Which is the average budget per thematic cluster and how is it distributed across geographical areas? To these and many more questions a new TESIM publication is ready to answer, thanks to a detailed analysis of the 915 projects financed through cross-border cooperation programmes under the 2014-2020 European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI CBC).  Over 1,1 billion EUR has been mobilised by this facility, and 3.613 organisations have been driven into action on both sides of the external European borders to implement activities.

The Road Show stops with the Neighborhood youth

Eyes on the youth!  On 7 and 8 November the “Interreg Youth Road Show” headed to the Southeast Mediterranean, bringing around 30 representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament to meet the youth of Thessaloniki and Serres (Greece). Four Interreg programmes took a chance to showcase their youth project in vocational training, employability, entrepreneurship, and environmental education. The trip’s itinerary included – for the first time! – an ENI CBC project “ZeroWasteBSB”. Its partners from Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Greece focus on zero waste practices and awareness-raising activities to minimize marine litter in the Black Sea Basin. The Greek partner – ANTIGONE – carried out a cycle of educational activities in several schools in Thessaloniki, and during the “Interreg Youth Road Show” we were able to appreciate the results of their work with youth.

Meeting notes

The 7th Consultation and Coordination Group meeting of ENI CBC programmes took place in Brussels on 23-24 November 2022. The meeting gathered both onsite and online over 90 participants, including representatives of programme bodies, DG REGIO, DG NEAR, EEAS, Interact and TESIM. During both days, and in addition to the plenary sessions, bilateral meetings were held between DG REGIO and programmes in order to provide response to the most pressing open questions of these.

Peace beyond the absence of war:
the voice of the Neighbourhood youth

BRUXELLES – They are up on stage, finally. Under the lights, and the eyes of the cameras, in front of the whole Interreg community. Lana speaks about the activism of Georgian youth movements, Ivan touches the plague of young people unemployment in the Republic of Moldova, and Anna regrets the lack of opportunities, and therefore motivation, of university students in Ukraine. The three speakers are young, and to be up on that stage they crossed the European external borders. They are the “ambassadors” selected to represent Partner Countries in the closing day of the Interreg Annual Event, the day dedicated to Youth4Cooperation. The session is a tribute to Ukraine, to its lasting struggle for freedom, and peace. But this Youth Dialogue will not linger on the Russian aggression, because “peace is more than just the absence of war” explains Daniela Cavini, TESIM Communication Coordinator and moderator of the session, which she built after speaking at length with young volunteers and refugees across different borders between the EU and Ukraine. “What the youth want – she continues – is employment and education, the respect of human rights, the freedom to travel, to learn, to live. This is what peace means for them”.

ENI CBC project is the winner of Interreg Project Slam


From Tokyo to Paris in the blink of an eye, a journey to the birth of the Solar system and exploring heart beating in 3D – the virtual reality transforms an ordinary classroom into a place for excitement, fun and interesting learning experiences for the students. The project “Virtual Reality Unites Carpathians”, funded by the Romania-Ukraine ENI CBC programme, has conquered not only the school students in Satu Mare (Romania) and Zakarpatska oblast (Ukraine) but also the jury of the Interreg Project Slam 2022 during the Interreg Annual Event. Meet the winner!

A programming cycle against all odds:
what have we learnt from ENI CBC?

The 7th meeting of the ENI CBC Consultation and Coordination Group will take place in Brussels on 23-24 November. The meeting aims at taking stock of the lessons learnt during the programming period 2014-2020, paving the way to its timely closure, and to set the ground for the start-up phase of Interreg NEXT. Throughout the two days, programmes will also have the chance to exchange bilaterally with Commission representatives about their current state of play. Most important, the meeting will be an opportunity to reinforce the community spirit after these very difficult last two years.

80 more new posters
the cooperation keeps growing

They don’t give up, regardless of the Russian aggression. In fact, quite the contrary. Projects keep rolling, activities across border regions have restarted wherever possible, partnerships are stronger than ever and practically never stopped engaging at least in the European side. All this reflects in the revamped virtual exhibition prepared by TESIM, which is now showing 80 new projects, bringing the total amount of displayed posters to 250.

Smart strategies for economic development in R. Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine

How can research and innovation initiatives support economic development in Ukraine, Georgia or the Republic of Moldova? How can their Smart Specialisation Strategies address new societal challenges? Join the #EURegionsWeek online workshop “Smart strategies for economic development in the R. Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine” on 12 October.

Smart Specialisation Strategies are a key approach to support innovation and research, and they have become one of the most important policy processes for our Eastern Neighbours. The Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia are the most advanced Eastern Partnership countries in the development of their strategies. In the current geopolitical context, these strategies could favour their economic development and help with the new challenges in society.  

During the workshop, representatives from the Joint Research Centre and DG REGIO will present the new tools the Commission has at its disposal to support efficiently the development and implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies. Afterwards, members from the countries S3 Platform teams will gather on a panel to share their thoughts and experiences in the implementation of these strategies. At the end of the session, there will be the chance to interact with the speakers through a “questions and answers” section.

The workshop will be held online. The registration is available here.

Date: 12 October

Time: 16:30 – 18:00

#EURegionsWeek #SmartSpecialisation

ENI CBC Programmes

A total of 16 programmes will be implemented under ENI CBC. They cover 12 land borders, one sea crossing and three sea basins, stretching from Finland and Russia in the north, to countries like Hungary and the Ukraine in the east, and Italy, Northern Africa and the Middle East in the south.
Here you will find news and information on each programme, including the programme strategy and participating countries.

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