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According to the Communication COM(2017) 534 final of the European Commission “Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regionslabor mobility is the most important area directly affected by border obstacles.

These hurdles have negative impacts especially on frontier commuters and they usually relate to a lack of cooperation between public employment services in border regions; difficulties in accessing general information and vacancies in the cross-border labour market; the recognition of diplomas and skills; taxation, social security and pension rights issues.

In the course of the first phase of b-solutions9 different obstacles have been identified under the thematic area of “Employment” and solutions to them have been proposed or, in some cases, already implemented. More details on the hurdles and on the relative solutions are available on the final compendium that the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) have elaborated in cooperation with the European Commission’s Border Focal Point at DG REGIO.

In 2020, the third call for proposals of the initiative led to the selection of 5 more obstacles to cross-border employment.

All of them have been submitted by European Groupings of Territorial Organisations (EGTCs) and Euroregions that involve 7 different Member States and 4 border sections.

They address problems concerning: 


  • the coordination between different social security systems;

  • the validation of certain professions by the neighboring country, and

  • the adaptation of “vocational training” experiences to the cross-border context.

Finally, under the fourth call for proposals, 8 more cases addressing border obstacles in the field of "Employment" have been selected to receive technical support. 

They are identified across 6 different European borders and describe issues that relate to the various dimensions of work, with an eye to the future of the working habits of citizens in cross-border regions. 

Obstacles to cross-border employment 

Fourth call for proposals

Click on the pictures of these eight beautiful European border regions to discover how and why cross-border employment is hindered in their territories 

Third call for proposals

Click on the pictures of these four beautiful European border regions to discover how and why cross-border employment is hindered in their territories 

Our participating organisations

More obstacles from the 1st and the 2nd calls for proposals 

Pilot Actions



Cross-border mobility in dual education in the Eurometropolis

EGTC "Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai"

Belgium - France


Many obstacles were found in terms of cross-border mobility of French and 
Belgian apprentices. In particular, different dual education contract systems and labour agreements linked to different legal statutes of the apprentice lead to an ineffective cross-border cooperation in this matter. 

Proposed Solution: 

Providing a framework agreement feasible for all competent authorities of the territory and implementing a field experiment to test the cross-border apprenticeship contract, allowing 
some apprentices to perform their apprenticeship on both sides of the border. 

To know more click here.

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XBORDER-WORK - Tackling administrative issues that hinder free movement of workers 

Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia

Slovenia - Italy


Cross border workers who are residents in one country but live in another have to deal with over taxation and limitations concerning the access of social security benefits. 

Proposed Solution: 

Creating a bilingual form through which the cross-border worker can share data concerning his/her income in one country and report it to the tax authorities and social security services in the other.


To know more click here.

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Roadmap for recognition of qualifications for highly demanded professions 

Province of Limburg

Germany - The Netherlands


Procedures concerning recognition of qualifications are often non-transparent, complex and time-consuming. This, discourage the mobility of citizens and prevent the developement of an effective cross-border labour market. 

Proposed Solution: 

Producing  practical documents with the involvement of competent authorities, namely a 
roadmap and a factsheet to provide clear information for the recognition of qualifications concerning highly demanded professions.

To know more click here

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Advice Cases


183 days rule obstructing cross-border mobility

Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen



The so-called 183 days rule has both financial and administrative downsides for the employers and the employees working in the North Sea Port. When employees cross the border for more than  183 days a year, they are considered cross-border workers. This results in a confusing double tax declaration and social security contributions.


To know more.



Juridical obstacles in establishment and financing of trans-national business incubator

Lazdijai District Municipality



In the LT and PL legislations, there is no indication on how to proceed for establishing a business incubator to reinforce the cross-border market and employment opportunities. The current practices envisage the principle “what is not allowed is forbidden”, which definitely prevents to undertake further steps towards cooperation.

To know more.

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Dutch-German cross-border employment of students originally from outside the EU

The Economic Board Arnhem-Nijmegen



Due to differences in legislation, International students from outside the EU cannot apply for internships and jobs just across the border. This is hampering the implementation of a full CB labour market, especially in sectors where more technical, English-speaking, professionals are needed.

To know more.

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Current social and health insurance regulations as problem for borderland inhabitants working on both sides of border at the same time​

Borderland Association "Nasza Suwalszczyzna"


Professionals knowing Polish and Lithuanian usually spend 2-3 days they in one country and rest of the week in the another. However, this leads to overlapping insurance payments by the employers, who have to bear these costs in both countries and that are so prevented to send their employees abroad.

To know more.

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Cross-border work for non-EU citizens

Euregio Rhein-Maas-Nord



Non-EU citizens need a variety of permits and need to fulfill different criteria to qualify for cross-border work. As long as the worker has a Schengen permit, he/she would need in addition a work permit. However, since it is the employer who needs to apply for it, most of them shy away from the effort of filing the complex application.

To know more.




Double personality is a single reality: working in Portugal and paying taxes in Spain due to legal and/or administrative impediments

European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Duero-Douro



The EGTC is located in Spain, therefore, its CIF presents a Spanish format and, as such, Portuguese systems do not recognize it. Hiring workers in Portugal, with the Portuguese social security and quota system is impossible, while doing it through the Spanish system is not attractive to the Portuguese professionals, leading to an unbalance of nationalities within the EGTC.

To know more.

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