Greater Geneva - A special dossier: Cross-border employment: the point of view of Michel Charrat, President of the European Cross-Border GroupingMarch 2019
The European Cross-Border Grouping (Groupement Transfrontalier Européen) is a non-profit association that represents 32,500 cross-border workers along the Franco-Swiss border.
"The employment situation in the Geneva basin would make many a French political leader green with envy. On both sides of the border, unemployment rates are low and the economic outlook positive. Around 120,000 people cross the border every day to go and work in neighbouring Switzerland. A huge flow that is not without some perverse effects, particularly in terms of transport and territorial development. A flow which, back in France, also generates substantial economic activity on the French side. In short, the cross-border phenomenon seems to be a win-win one for both sides.
However, over the past ten years, the rise of populism in Geneva has made relations somewhat tense. The Canton has put in place a cantonal preference, in spite of many condemnations from both sides of the border; then last July, the Swiss Confederation introduced "national preference light".
The forthcoming arrival of the tramline in the centre of Annemasse and of the Léman Express will give a boost to the region. Let us hope that the improvement in transport links will ease relations between the populations. The work of Greater Geneva must go in this direction and it will be considerable. Indeed, experts estimate that over the next five years, a quarter of Swiss workers will retire. They will therefore need to be replaced. Geneva has the good fortune to have, in neighbouring France, an extensive territory to accommodate its active population. But this development can only take place within the framework of a large-scale project coordinated on both sides of the border. Greater Geneva has an important role to play – above all, a strong political will to promote openness is needed if we wish to bring citizens together and foster social cohesion in our territories."
More info on the Groupement Transfrontalier Européen [FR]
Read the other articles of the special dossier on the Greater Geneva:
- Greater Geneva
- Editorial from Christian Dupessey, Mayor of Annemasse, President of Annemasse Agglo, Vice-President of the MOT and Jean Denais, Mayor of Thonon-les-Bains, President of the Metropolitan Pole of the French Genevois
- Interview with Anna-Karina Kolb, Director of the External and Federal Department of the Republic and Canton of Geneva