Presentation of the study prepared for the European Commission on ‘Collecting solid evidence to assess the needs to be addressed by INTERREG cross-border cooperation programmes’

Written By Alessandro Valenza
Publishing 28 October 2016

On 18 October, Alessandro Valenza on behalf of the consortium composed by Sweco (lead partner), t33, Politecnico di Milano and NordRegio, presented the final result of the study ‘Collecting solid evidence to assess the needs to be addressed by Interreg cross-border cooperation programmes’ in Brussels, at the presence to European Commission, Member States and key stakeholders in the field of cross-border cooperation.

The study was commissioned by the European Commission - Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy - Cross-border Cooperation Unit, with the aim of gathering evidence and solid data of the existing development needs of border regions to be addressed under the specific European Territorial Cooperation goal in view of the preparation of the future post-2020 Cohesion policy. The study was coordinated by François Levarlet, whereas Andrea Gramillano played the role of coordinator of the task 3 ‘ Needs inventory’.

Alessandro Valenza underlined the methodology employed by the contractor to identify the main needs (obstacles and potentials) for growth in cross-border regions. The product of the study is the development of a database that can support future decision on programmes as well as comparative analysis of border regions.

The database is a potentially important tool to provide insights on each specific border obstacle and potential and to review the geographic, institutional and economic features of border regions. Regardless, Alessandro stressed the fact that this is not the final outcome but a starting point towards more improved and more effective system.

The study serves to trigger reflection and shed light on potential ways to constantly improve this tool. Particularly, Alessandro, advanced three ways to improve the tool:
1. Update the indicators: due to the high tendency of indicators to become obsolete in short time, they should be updated over time.
2. Extend/Adapt the existing indicators to all border regions: the indicators currently provided by the contractors do not cover all MSs. Therefore, they should be extended and adapted in the future to cover all border regions
3. Define new indicators to quantify the needs: as most of the indictors are ‘adapted’ to the border dimension, there is the need to propose new indicators.

Video of Alessandro’s presentation