With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people living in border regions.
If you are one of the 150 million people living near an internal EU border, you probably cross it regularly, whether for work, study, shopping or leisure. The EU makes such trips easier. As an EU citizen, you have the right to free movement when travelling within the EU. If, in addition, your country and its neighbour are in the Schengen area, there are no border checks.
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The EU has put various tools and mechanisms in place to facilitate cross-border work, including: the European network of employment services (EURES), which provides information and advice on all kinds of issues relating to cross-border commuting; the rules for the coordination of social security systems; the European Qualifications Framework, which makes qualifications more readable and understandable across borders; the Europass Framework, which enables users to present their skills, qualifications and experience by means of five standardised documents, including a CV; and the European Professional Card, an electronic procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications.
Since 1990, as part of its regional policy, the EU has been funding projects to support cross-border cooperation between European countries and regions, helping them to find joint solutions to common challenges and enhance their citizens’ quality of life. Examples of activities funded include measures to improve cross-border transport, increased cooperation between emergency and firefighting services, the development of cross-border healthcare services, and environmental protection, to name but a few.
- EPRS publication on European territorial cooperation, 2018, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2018/614773/EPRS_BRI(2018)614773_EN.pdf
- European Commission, ‘Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions’, http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/information/publications/communications/2017/boosting-growth-and-cohesion-in-eu-border-regions