Education, training and languages

The challenges of cross-border cooperation in the field of education and training

In parallel to European efforts to encourage equivalence between the qualifications of different Member States and promote initiatives for European interculturality and mobility, cross-border territories are developing their own logic, closely related to the specificities of their labour market and the level of employment as well as to the need for openness to neighbouring populations.

The support of national education authorities is necessary in order to facilitate the definition of joint training pathways between bordering countries. This support, echoing local and regional strategies, allows the administrative and legal obstacles related to the crossing of borders to be overcome.

The lack of a common frame of reference for professions and training as well as the difficulty in obtaining validation of experience gained in a company do not encourage growth in cross-border mobility or cross-border training.

Among the candidates for double diplomas, a great number give up when faced with the complexity of the administrative procedures required. Despite this, the European dimension can be an asset for education and training in cross-border territories.

While it is true that the idea of “knowledge and training without borders” suggests access to the culture and lifestyle of the neighbouring country, difficulties in cultural integration are primarily linked to a limited knowledge of the neighbouring country’s language, which is often insufficiently taught in educational institutions, and does not necessarily awaken the curiosity of young people in border regions for the neighbouring culture, and immersion can sometimes be intimidating, when faced with this obstacle to communication.

In other cases, cross-border territories can share a language, acting as a unifying factor. Initiatives in this direction develop cross-border cultural and territorial cohesion.