In 2018, national and regional representatives in charge of territorial observation in Germany and their neighbours signed a memorandum committing themselves to work together to improve the situation of cross-border data.
Territorial monitoring at the cross-border level is essential to enhance the potential of border areas. Whether it is to foster economic development, to improve employment opportunities or to increase access to services, efficient public policies and cooperation projects in border regions can only be developed if decision-makers are provided with detailed, harmonised, on-going information from both sides of the border, that reflects interactions on the whole territory.
Existing monitoring activities are currently being constrained by the limits of cross-border statistics: lack of comparability, of availability, or of appropriate indicators are common issues encountered by data users and decision-makers at the cross-border scale.
There is a consensus that an improvement of the situation is not possible without further cooperation. The harmonisation of data and the definition of indicators can be reached with increased communication among data providers, and also between data providers and data users. It requires intensified transversal exchanges between European stakeholders at the regional and national level. Existing national and regional initiatives also need to complement each other. In this context, the creation of a network for cross-border monitoring appeared to be necessary to structure long-term cooperation and facilitate communication between relevant stakeholders.
The goal is to improve territorial monitoring in cross-border areas, facilitate access to data and foster the development of specific cross-border statistics. Network members meet on an annual basis to exchange on their activities, work actively towards the definition and harmonisation of cross-border data and indicators, and contribute to the dissemination of their results at the national and European level.
- Formulating needs and solving obstacles: Network members formulate a common definition of needs in order to identify solutions, solve legal obstacles and define concrete steps towards data harmonisation.
- Connecting with national initiatives and stakeholders: In order to have sufficient impact, it is necessary to reach a critical mass of members and to look for convergence with existing initiatives. Networks members actively reach out to other initiatives and networks in order to coordinate efforts towards cross-border monitoring at the European level.
- Raising awareness: members contribute in their respective countries and at the European level to raise awareness on the issue of cross-border monitoring. The network can be represented as such at European events and organize its own events.
Current Network members
The network membership is flexible, open to interested institutions, and adaptable according to the needs and the situation.