MOT-UMS RIATE seminar on cross-border observation: towards better decision-making in EuropeOctober 2018
The MOT and UMS Riate* hosted a seminar entitled “Territorial observation and assistance with decision-making in cross-border regions” on 17 September in Paris. It brought together 60 people in order to discuss this crucial subject.
Bringing together specialists in territorial observation, public players and practitioners from the MOT’s network, and researchers from different backgrounds and borders was the first objective of the seminar. Against the backdrop of the negotiations on European cohesion policy post-2020, the importance of cross-border issues has reasserted itself – and territorial observation is crucial in order to implement appropriate cross-border public policies.
Nine presentations were made during the day. The morning was devoted to cross-border observation tools and to different studies, such as those carried out as part of the DG REGIO’s “Border Region Data Collection” project and the “MORO” project on cross-border observation in Germany. The discussions on the different projects yielded the same assessment: there is a lack of data on these territories and a lack of harmonisation between them.
The second part of the day focused on practical implementation, with presentations explaining how territorial observation can be used to rethink public policy and inform decision-making, as shown by the Grand Est Region and Greater Geneva’s territorial development projects. A method known as "Planspiel" used to understand the practice of cross-border territorial development was also presented by researchers from the University of Luxembourg.
Giving fresh impetus to observation in Europe
The discussions also addressed the prospects for cross-border governance in Europe post-2020, with the new 2021-2027 programming period being an opportunity to highlight local priorities and ensure greater account is taken of cross-border areas. The day thus provided a chance to announce the relaunch of the Cross-Border Strategic Committee on observation (more info) aimed at coordinating the actions of neighbouring states and their statistical institutes, as well as mobilising the different European programmes such as Interreg, in order to anchor cross-border observation in a genuinely European dynamic.
* The interdisciplinary network for territorial development and cohesion in Europe and neighbouring countries, tasked by the CGET (General Commission for Territorial Equality) to act as the ESPON contact point in France.