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Legalise border crossings for French-Spanish rescue services

Advised entity: Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Fire and Rescue Service - SDIS64

Despite the existence of legal and administrative acts to optimise public assistance at the Franco-Spanish border, firemen and rescue services encounter difficulties in crossing the border to intervene. Identifying the relevant authorities on the two sides of the border is key to make the emergency service more efficient in the border region.  

Funding systems inhibit innovation through testbeds 

Advised entity: The Svinesund Committee

To counter the climate crisis requires increased development and implementation of green and sustainable innovations. In Sweden and Norway, different regulatory frameworks and financial support systems currently hinder the ability of SMEs to draw on funding and expertise in neighbouring countries, which significantly slows the realisation of innovative ideas and projects.

Operation and distribution formats — Renewable energy plants

Advised entity: Euregio via salina e. V.

In Bavaria and Austria, different legal requirements for the construction of renewable energy plants (hydropower, photovoltaics, wind energy) and for the establishment of cross-border renewable energy communities or cooperatives are impediments to the development of the energy transition in the border region. Sharing energy would drive the expansion of decentralised energy systems, create economic incentives and allow people to purchase energy as a regional product.

District heating without borders

Advised entity: GECT Euregio Senza Confini

Connecting the district heating network across the Italian-Austrian border is not regulated and thus local citizens and business cannot benefit from the commercial exchange of thermal energy. This is due to different interpretations of the legislation and a regulatory opacity on how thermal energy for heating should be transferred and under which taxation system. Clarifying the regulatory scope would enable a cross-border heat exchange, respectful of the environment and promising for the development of new cooperation

Conservation of biodiversity on the Mura River

Advised entity: Mura Region EGTC

The lack of harmonisation between environmental regulations in Hungary and Croatia makes it difficult to preserve the biodiversity of the cross-border Mura river and its NATURA 2000 protected area. Addressing the issue would facilitate the protection of this common nature area and the management of activities such as water tourism, which is likely to become more and more popular due to the development of sustainable tourism in the border region.


Improvement of ecological continuity

Advised entity: Doubs Horloger Regional Natural Park


The Regional Natural Parks of Doubs in Switzerland and Doubs Horloger in France are located on each side of the Doubs river and share the goal of improving environmental cooperation. However, French and Swiss environmental protection mechanisms do not necessarily have the same purposes, realities, or legal scopes. Understanding the differences between these environmental protection mechanisms will enable the development of coherent and successful environmental policies across the border.


Processing and exchange of plant and animal by-products – sheep wool

Advised entity: Regio Zugspitzregion e.V.

Along the Austria-German border, there is a significant opportunity to develop vegetable and animal byproducts such as sheep wool or bat guano and use them as high-quality fertilizers. However, conflicting legislative requirements for sterilization and organic waste disposal restrict cross-border production and trade of animal-derived fertilisers.

Addressing these discrepancies would allow for the strengthening of a circular economy in the border regions.

Inter-communal cooperation Twence municipalities and Münster

Advised entity: Municipality of Enschede

Since 2019, the German city of Münster has worked with the public firm Twence and twelve Dutch municipalities from the Twente region on circular economy and sustainability projects. However, complications emerge due to an ceiling on import of residual municipal waste.

Establishing legislative preconditions for a sustainable cross-border circular economy based on innovation is necessary to deal with waste management in the border region. 

Franco-Belgian small islands and stagnant meander on the Lys river

Advised entity: Eurométropole Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai

Former spatial planning operations on the Lys river, a natural boundary between France and Belgium, resulted in the formation of small islands that are physically connected to one country but legally belong to the other. Operation to prevent potential pollution and improve the living conditions of the river's dead arms must therefore be coordinated between authorities from both countries, and different systems must be harmonised.

Finding a clear and durable solution for the management of these small islands would make it simpler to move into coherent cross-border collaboration.

Cross Border Energy Region Ralingen – Rosport – Mompach

Advised entity: Municipality of Ralingen

A cooperative of agro-entrepreneurs from the Netherlands and Flanders offers agricultural products directly from Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe to customers on both sides of the border. The cooperative's registered office is in the Netherlands, but in the future, it wants to transport and sell its products across borders using a mobile container. Uncertainties persist on which laws and regulations should be applied to enterprises selling across borders and how to handle them.

Solving such a problem will make it easier for agro-entrepreneurs in the border region to transport their products across the border using a mobile container, exposing them to a larger market.

Obstacles for Border transport of recyclable plastic waste

Advised entity: Municipality of Ralingen

After a long-standing and intense cross-border cooperation, the municipalities of Ralingen (DE) and Rosport-Mompach (LU) wish to form a collaboration in the energy sector by creating a borderless energy region. However, the different legal frameworks and contradictory or non-existing regulations complicate the set-up of a cross-border energy community. By understanding these discrepancies in the legislation, social, economic and environmental benefits to the local population could be generated with a shared use of renewable energy sources.

Obstacles for Border transport of recyclable plastic waste

Advised entity: EGTC Euregio Meuse-Rhine

In spite of environmental objectives on the EU level to reduce plastic waste and virgin plastic, there are many contradicting procedures and regulations between Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands when it comes to recycling and transporting plastic feedstock. This hinders effective cross-border collaboration to jointly address plastic waste. Solving these legal and administrative obstacles would allow the creation of a network of “Smart Specialized Plastic Recycling Hubs” that would increase cross-border synergies in the plastic recycling value chain.

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