Develop a successful business with my neighbour country

Advised entity: Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Xanthi

When Bulgarian or Greek small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) want to enter the neighbouring market along their shared border, they face difficulties because of administrative and legal hurdles, lack of knowledge on the neighbour’s business environment and language barriers. This limits the development of a strong cross-border labour market benefiting workers, SMEs and the overall population of the border region. 

Cross Border Internships

Advised entity: Region Sønderjylland-Schleswig, Regionskotor & Infocenter

Due to different legislative frameworks in Denmark and Germany, students and workers are limited in their opportunities to pursue internships on the other side of the border. It is problematic as cross-border internships can often lead to hiring and can thus strengthen the border region labour market.  

Student mobility

Advised entity: EUROBEC

In Portugal, the administrative guidelines for study visit abroad require children to present an authorisation signed by both parents or a legal guardian and duly certified by an official authority in order to go exit the country. The document can be issued only upon payment of a certification fee ranging from 15 to 30 Euros and has a limited duration. Such bureaucratic requirements are serious impediments to the development of cross-border cooperation projects carried out by schools and other structures involving minors.  

Youth Beyond Borders

Advised entity: EGTC Euregio Senza Confini / EVTZ Euregio Ohne Grenzen

Students who cross the border between Italy and Austria to carry out internships often face significant regulatory hurdles, such as different school systems, training courses and insurance coverage, as well as language barriers that may discourage them from participating in such dual and vocational learning opportunities across the border. This is due to a lack of coordinated administrative and legal framework between Italy and Austria when it comes to internships, traineeships and apprenticeships.

Cross border DUAL VET Euroregion Galicia Norte Portugal

Advised entity: Galicia Norte Portugal EGTC

Even though there is a lack of specialised workers in some fields, the cross-border mobility of Vocational Education Training (VET) qualified workers is limited between Galicia and the North of Portugal. It is mostly due to different procedures of recognition for non-university education, which are lengthy and costly for applicants and which raise tax credits issues for the companies on both sides of the border. 

Problem to work in both Sweden and Denmark at the same time

Advised entity: Øresunddirekt Sweden / County Administrative Board Skåne

Cross-border mobility of workers is high in the Øresundregion, with most cross-border workers living in Sweden and working in Denmark. However, the current social security systems in the two neighbouring countries create obstacles with regard to part-time jobs, because Danish businesses who employ people in Denmark who also have a job in Sweden have to pay high contributions to the Swedish government. This not only restricts the free movement of workers, but also results in some people not being able to fully support themselves.

Third country citizens excluded from the labour market in the region

Advised entity: Øresunddirekt Sweden / County Administrative Board Skåne

The free movement of workers grants EU citizens the right to live and work in different member states. However, this right is not granted equally to third-country nationals, which is particularly reflected in the Øresundregion, where there is a high level of worker mobility. In Denmark, there is a high demand for skilled workers, but for third-country nationals residing in Sweden it is extremely complicated to obtain a Danish work permit, even if they have a long-term residence permit in Sweden.

 

Mapping cross-border skills involving Employers: Building & Construction

Advised entity: Regione autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia 

Employers in the Italian-Slovenian border region, especially SMEs, encounter difficulties when trying to hire new employees from the other side of the border. There is a lack of a common methodology to compare and evaluate the skills of cross-border workers, whose professional training varies according to the academic system of their respective country. Standardising data would potentially improve the placement of workers with businesses and allow for specific training opportunities to be offered.

Mapping cross-border skills involving Employers: Mechatronics

Advised entity: Regione autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia 

Finding new employees can be difficult for SMEs if they do not have a consistent method to compare the education and skills of cross-border workers. In the Austrian-Italian region this is especially relevant in the mechanic/mechatronics sector. There is a need for standardized data to improve the matching of workers and companies.

 

Mapping cross-border workers and labour market between FVG & Carinthia 

Advised entity: Regione autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia 

Along the Italian-Austrian border many cross-border workers reside on one side and work on the other side of the border. Yet, there is no uniform legal system for the registration of workers, which not only creates obstacles for local and regional administrations with regard to social security benefits or taxation, but also facilitates the circumvention of labour protection measures.

Posting workers to Galicia: easing communication procedures

Advised entity: Galicia Norte Portugal EGTC

In order to comply with EU Directives, a Galician law requires foreign companies that post their workers to the Autonomous Community of Galicia for a limited period of time to inform the Galician authorities about this using a specific digital certificate. This creates additional costs for Portuguese companies that want to send their employees across the border, as they are often forced to hire an external agency to help them with the complex administrative procedure. The Portuguese law, on the other hand, does not require such a digital certificate, which thus leads to unequal treatment of companies located in the border region.

Working from home across Borders

Advised entity: Openbaar Lichaam Eurode

The Dutch region of South-Limburg is surrounded on three sides by Germany and Belgium, so crossing the border for work reasons is part of everyday life. When the home office became the new workplace for many during the pandemic, the national governments adopted temporary legislation regarding social security and tax issues for employees. These temporary regulations will soon expire without any interstate agreements on long-term solutions, which are urgently needed as working from home has become a generally accepted practice.

Limitations in attending a school in a neighbouring country

Advised entity: EGTC Euregio Meuse-Rhine

The Euregio Meuse-Rhine is a complex cross-border area comprising five regions in the three countries of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Actually, this particular geographical location opens up many opportunities for cooperation in the field of education. But, with regard to preschool education, national laws sometimes prevent parents from sending their children to a preschool in a neighbouring country, or at least make this more difficult, for example, through waiting lists and unbeneficial tax rules. Adapting the legal framework to allow a free choice of preschool in the border region would strengthen bilingualism and understanding of cultural differences, which in turn would promote both economic development and good coexistence in the region for the future.

Anti-cumulation of parental allowances in cross-border cases

Advised entity: Grenzinfopunkt Aachen-Eurode

For families living in the tri-border area of Germany, Belgium and France, obtaining parental social security benefits can be difficult. The anti-accumulation rule in EU law prevents parental benefits from being obtained from different countries, which causes difficulties when only one parent is working abroad because the exchange of data between the competent authorities often does not work. Also, uncertainties persist as to how the anti-accumulation rule is to be interpreted with regard to a newly introduced paid parental leave in the Netherlands. Solving these obstacles would significantly increase the attractiveness of cross-border work for young families.

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