Cross-border regions, whether they are urban, rural or maritime, are characterised by:
- inhabitants who cross the border to work, make purchases, or for leisure activities, etc.
- a shared heritage and environment;
- trade and tourism exchanges;
- a common job market and economic development;
- shared equipment and services (hospitals, transport, schools, etc.)
- Border regions are peripheral and often little account is taken of them in national policy.
- However, borders, which are places of exchange and openness, are a resource for the inhabitants and businesses in these territories.
- But the existence of different political, legal, cultural and linguistic systems creates obstacles to cooperation.
- Cross-border territories are testing grounds for European construction: free movement, territorial cohesion and European citizenship are at the heart of the European project.
- However, they are not sufficiently taken into account by European policies.