Platform of the Cross-border strategic committee on observation

Presentation of the statistical observation process for cross-border territories

Following on from an exploratory study, the Délégation interministérielle à l'aménagement du territoire et à l'attractivité régionale (DATAR, now the General Commission for Territorial Equality), the MOT and the Network of the French Urban Planning Public Agencies held  the first European seminar devoted to the observation of cross-border territories, on 10 December 2012 in Nancy. The objective was to present the work that had been carried out and to highlight the role of observation with respect to development policies for cross-border territories.
Taking the form of a discussion around the aspirations of local players, it provided a space for exchanges of views about the role of the public authorities (governments, statistical institutes and European institutions) in this area.
It concluded with an agreement between the countries represented  affirming the need to coordinate initiatives for the statistical observation of border regions.

The emergence of coordination between countries

Following on from these exchanges, the countries concerned (France + neighbouring countries), conscious that it is impossible to completely harmonise cross-border data, agreed to prioritise a gradual and pragmatic process of improving and adding to the repository of data and indicators, which ultimately will make it possible to have a more precise understanding of the cross-border context.

Creation of a cross-border strategic committee (CSC)

Accordingly, to go further and put in place the basis for genuine cross-border observation at European level, these countries have set up a cross-border strategic committee made up of representatives of the ministries in charge of territorial development in France and the neighbouring countries. Its role is to give impetus to and coordinate a multi-annual work programme and to propose and analyse, with the support of a technical working group, priority topics for European territorial cohesion and cross-border territories in particular in order to identify and render secure sources of data and their collection.
Other European partners are taking part in this work, such as the Netherlands, the European Commission and the Interact programme.
The MOT provides the CSC’s secretariat.

Creation of a technical working group (TWG)

The cross-border strategic committee is supported by a technical working group that brings together representatives of national and regional statistical institutes, ministerial departments and expert operators interested in this initiative. Its role is to make specific the instructions coming out of the cross-border strategic committee’s deliberations, to define the conditions for “technical implementation” and to validate the results of work carried out before submitting them to the strategic committee.
The CGET’s territorial observation unit provides the secretariat for the TWG.