Models for solving cross-border problems should also be taken from third countries.

AD – 11/2018

In its Opinion ECO/465, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the EU Commission’s ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a mechanism to resolve legal and administrative obstacles in a cross-border context’ (COM/2018/373 of 29 May 2018). We reported on the proposal in June 2018: ‘EUREGIOs to get special rights’.

The EESC is of the opinion that the provisions in the proposal reflect a new approach, which could strengthen the opportunities for cooperation between Member States based on subsidiarity, and contribute to a more balanced, sustainable socio-economic development of border regions, and help increase the Union’s GDP.


The Committee believes that the proposal is well founded because although these regions are currently supported by several institutional instruments (notably INTERREG and the EGTC), they do not have the necessary powers to take such legal measures.

With regard to social aspects, the EESC considers it is particularly important to develop mechanisms which reduce administrative barriers and thus promote the free movement of workers and the development of infrastructure and services of general interest.

The proposal for a regulation is based on the principle that one way of solving a particular problem would be to apply the legislation in force on the other side of the border. However, in many cases this is not possible. It may be that there is no legislation on either side of the border that can help resolve the problem at hand; a solution could then be to use a model from a third country. The EESC believes a mechanism should be proposed for such cases.

What next?

The European Commission’s proposal has been submitted to the European Parliament for a first reading. Lead rapporteur from the Regional Development Committee is Matthijs van Miltenburg (Netherlands/ALDE) and shadow rapporteur from the Health Committee is MEP Adina-Iona Valean (Romania/EPP). Draft reports have not yet been published. The Committee on Legal Affairs has decided not to provide an opinion.

The European Parliamentary Research Service has compiled a briefing on the topic, addressed to MEPs and their staff. The briefing is available here.