European conference on cross-border economic development - The proceedings are online!

April 2014

European conference on cross-border economic development - The proceedings are online!

MOT has organised a European conference on "The integrated economic development of cross-border territories" on 15th April 2014 in Paris, that brought together more than 150 people. This event was the occasion to launch a European project, led by MOT, on this topic.

Movement of goods and cooperation between companies located either side of borders are major factors, as yet inadequately examined, in increasing the potential for development of cross-border territories.

To initiate discussion on this major topic for cross-border territories and put forward practical proposals, the conference was the occasion to launch an eighteen-month project with the aim of constructing territorial diagnostics and supporting the stimulation of partnerships and economic development projects on French borders.

The conference was an opportunity to take an overall view of the main issues, obstacles and needs encountered by those involved in cross-border territory actions. Several topics were raised by the speakers and participants, including employment, training, clusters, innovation, internationalisation of SMEs, public-sector contracts, state aids, and institutional and economic governance, from a cross-border perspective.

The picture that emerged from the discussions was mixed: asymmetry of framework conditions either side of some borders, competition between businesses and territories, but also substantial potential for cooperation, often under-exploited as a consequence of the compartmentalisation of those involved in actions. Florian Németi, director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), spoke of “a variable-geometry relationship, a glass half-empty and half-full”, and Olivier Ceccotti, cross-border projects manager at the Greater Lille Chamber of Commerce and Industry, of “a real difficulty bringing the actors together around the table”, a situation which Bernard Soulage, Rhône-Alpes region vice-president with responsibility for Europe and international relations, summarised as “a problem of governance of cross-border cooperation”.

The project “Instruments for the facilitation of the cross-border territories integrated economic development” led by the MOT is a launch project of the European Union cohesion policy’s 2014-2020 programme, strongly oriented towards the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. With this project, the MOT intends to contribute to the preparation of new tools for European project and programme managers, in order to support cross-border economic development.

More info (Proceedings are downloadable)

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