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Mechanism to resolve legal and administrative obstacles in a cross-border context [EU Legislation in Progress]

Czech border sign by the road - travel background

© Nikolai Sorokin / Fotolia

Written by Christiaan van Lierop (3rd edition, updated on 9.11.2019),

Often isolated, and with generally poorer access to public services, the EU’s border regions face a unique set of challenges. This has been recognised under Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which provides that particular attention should be paid to cross-border regions when developing action to strengthen the EU’s economic, social and territorial cohesion. Yet while the EU has provided significant support over the years, particularly within the framework of European territorial cooperation, helping to strengthen connectivity and create new growth and jobs, numerous obstacles continue to hamper cross-border cooperation.

The Commission’s 2015 cross-border review revealed legal and administrative barriers to be the main obstacle to cross-border cooperation while, in parallel, the 2015 Luxembourg Presidency put forward plans for an EU cross-border mechanism, with both processes feeding into discussions on a mechanism for cross-border areas, culminating in the present proposal. The EP adopted its first-reading position on the proposal in February 2019, yet progress has been slow, with the Council’s Working Party on Structural Measures deciding to cease work on the proposal in May 2021.


Proposal for a regulation on a mechanism to resolve legal and administrative obstacles in a cross-border context
Committee responsible: Regional Development (REGI) COM(2018) 373 of 29.5.2018
Rapporteur: Matthijs van Miltenburg (ALDE, the Netherlands) procedure ref.: 2018/198 (COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:

Tom Berendsen (EPP, the Netherlands)

Corina Crețu (S&D, Romania)

Ciarán Cuffe(Greens/EFA, Ireland)

Alessandro Panza (ID, Italy)

Valdemar Tomaševski (ECR, Lithuania)

Dimitrios Papadimoulis (The Left, Greece)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Awaiting Council position
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