The regions at the Franco-German, Dutch-Belgian, and Dutch-German borders had long been regarded as well integrated. Yet in spring 2020, these and other national borders were suddenly closed and various other restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus – often without any coordination with the neighboring country. Cross-border regions discovered that these measures affected them dramatically and in a disproportionate way. Indeed, even before the outbreak of the pandemic, many border regions were struggling with a plethora of obstacles.
Building on the conviction that cross-border regions must be put at the very heart of European integration, this panel discussion will reflect on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on such regions and the ongoing and future challenges they face. It aims to derive lessons for future cross-border cooperation as part of the ongoing integration on the European continent by exploring the following questions: Which political and legal instruments must be developed today to be better prepared for the future? What type of innovative agreements, protocols, or even treaties are needed? Which impulses should come from the EU level, which can be expected from multilateral agreements, and how could existing bilateral treaties and legal frameworks be updated?
Landry Charrier, Attaché for Scientific and Academic Cooperation, Institut français des Pays-Bas
Birte Wassenberg, Professor of Contemporary History, Université de Strasbourg
Fabienne Leloup, Professor of Economics, Social and Political Sciences, UCLouvaine (tbc)
Martin Unfried, Senior Researcher, ITEM/Maastricht University
Alain de Muyser, Secretary-General, Benelux Union
Moderator: Jacob Ross, Research Fellow in the France/Franco-German Relations Program, German Council on Foreign Relations
We will use Zoom to conduct this online meeting. Please register via firstname.lastname@example.org. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing instructions for joining the event.
Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions via Zoom’s question and answer function during the discussion. You will find information related to data processing at https://dgap.org/en/zoom. Please note that this event will be recorded.