Public Services

Transport and cross-border public services

In cross-border territories, cooperation in the area of transport takes the form of the coordinated acquisition of new equipment, the development of denser and more extensive transport services and the introduction of new operating conditions (information, fare structure, coordination of different modes of transport, etc.).

Many cross-border projects are underway in the area of public transport:

  • The France-Vaud-Geneva conurbation, now known as “Greater Geneva”, is a large-scale project that is carrying out four strategic projects in the field of transport:
    The Cornavin - Eaux-Vives - Annemasse (CEVA) train link connecting the Swiss and French rail networks;
    - The development of high-frequency public transport links between Geneva and Annemasse, Saint-Julien, Saint-Genis-Pouilly and Ferney-Voltaire;
    - The improvement of links between Annecy and Annemasse, Geneva, the Arve Valley and Le Chablais;
    - The development of the networks of coaches serving the Haute-Savoie and the Pays de Gex
  • The high-speed line (ligne à grande vitesse – LGV) between Perpignan and Figueres was inaugurated on 27 January 2011. Connecting the two towns in 23 minutes, this new line was developed as part of the priority project “High-Speed Railway Axis of South-West Europe” of the Trans-European transport network elaborated by the EU.
  • Project to extend the cross-border tram network between Kehl and Strasbourg by 2014 as part of the Interreg IV Upper Rhine Programme.
  • Fares and information project: from the beginnings of the Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai “Eurométropole”, negotiations were entered into with the operators of rail transport services. The SNCB and SNCF agreed to make a gesture in support of cross-border mobility by doing away with the “supplements” charged on cross-border tickets. This constitutes a reduction of €1.4 per ticket. Regarding train information, the SNCB and SNCF’s Internet platforms have been co-ordinated to provide the timetables for cross-border services.

More information on the topic “transport”.

Training, employment, education and cross-border public services

Cooperation in this area makes it possible to better identify the difficulties encountered with respect to professional training, social security coverage, taxation of employees, job seeking and education. Here are a few examples of projects in this field:

  • "Distance zéro" (“zero distance”) is a continuing education project for adults in the Champagne-Ardenne region and Wallonia, which promotes cross-border mobility. This project, which benefits from the ERDF, is part of the Interreg IV European cross-border cooperation programme, a programme which aims to reinforce economic and social development across these two territories.
  • A binational training centre set up by the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (Cnam) and the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft des Saarlandes. This centre aims to provide training tailored to the needs and expectations of professionals along the border (job-seekers, employees, company managers, etc.).
  • The “Greater Lille Campus” is a partnership between the Catholic University of Mons (FUCaM) and the PRES Université Lille Nord de France whose principal aim is to set up a major European university at the heart of the Euroregion that is highly visible and attracts students both from home and internationally. One of the objectives is the creation of an “Honours College” in which students from the three regions who have passed the baccalaureat together follow expanded and in-depth courses and seminars in a specific field, taught and/or supervised by teaching staff from the three regions.

More information on the topics “employment” and “education, training and languages”.

Health, medical and social care and cross-border public services

In the area of health care, cooperation may be aimed at facilitating inpatient and outpatient treatment, facilitating the reimbursement for treatment from the social security system, or pooling equipment and hospital structures across the cross-border territory. Here are some examples:

  • Construction of a cross-border hospital in Puigcerda in Cerdanya, on the Spanish border.
  • Project for an “Organised zone of access to cross-border health care” (Zone organisée d'accès aux soins transfrontaliers – ZOAST) which is taking over from the Transcard health care card system in Thiérache, along the French-Belgian border. This cooperation makes it possible for all people living within a certain perimeter on both sides of the border to receive treatment in hospitals and certain types of outpatient care in the two countries, with the cost of this treatment being borne by their respective social security systems.
  • Project concerning cross-border cremation: project financed by the France-Belgium Interreg programme aimed at harmonising legislation in this area and operating a cross-border crematorium.

More information on the topic “health”.

Environment and cross-border public services

The coordinated management of cross-border areas through the pooling of resources makes it possible to combat pollution more effectively (air pollution, groundwater, watercourses and coastlines, etc.) and to better deal with risks both natural (flooding etc.) and technological, and to manage the treatment of waste more effectively. Two examples:

  • The "Espace Pourtalet" EGTC (European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation): the first EGTC under Spanish law and the second along the French-Spanish border, between Aragon and the Pyrénées Atlantiques. Initially, its actions are aimed at ensuring road access in winter between the territories of Biescas and Laruns. A former customs building is to be turned into a cross-border snow-clearing centre in winter (the Pourtal pass), and to serve as a cultural centre and a place to stay for pilgrims on the road to Compostela in summer.
  • The cross-border water treatment plant in Dantxaria: the plant treats the waste water from the municipalities of Ainhoa (Danxaria neighbourhood) and Urdax (Dantxarinea neighbourhood). Its function is co-financed by the France-Spain-Andorra Interreg programme with the support of the government of Navarre via la Sanilsa, the Conseil général of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département and the Association of Southern Basque Country Municipalities.

More information on the topic “environment”.