ITEM BRIEFS: The BENELUX Police Convention

The BENELUX Police Convention: An important step forward in cross-border crime fighting Math Noortmann   On 1 October last, the new Treaty between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands on police cooperation finally entered into force (in short BENELUX Police Treaty). This happened more than five years after the treaty was signed in 2018. This treaty […]

COVID-19: Lessons learned and recommendations for the future

  By Pim Mertens & Martin Unfried The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted every aspect of life. Today, 19 July 2023, the mandate of the ‘Special committee on the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons learned and recommendations for the future’ (COVI) came to an end. In March 2022, the European Parliament agreed on the establishment of this committee. COVI […]

Facilitating cross-border (home) working: an important precondition for the Euroregional labour market and economy

In the ITEM Cross-Border Impact Assessment 2021, the “Impact analysis into the future of working from home for cross-border workers post-COVID-19” investigated the consequences for taxation and social security of working from home by cross-border workers. Hybrid work is the future, also for the region, according to the SER advisory report ‘Hybrid Work’. But working from home […]

Cross-border cooperation during a cross-border pandemic

Not out of possibility, but out of necessity The last couple of weeks of 2021 were dominated by the cross-border nature of the COVID-19 crisis, and the fight against it. While the Netherlands went into the holiday season under a lockdown, complete closures were largely absent in Germany and Belgium. This leads to so-called cross-border […]

Border resident central and border governor more positioned

Last 13 October marked the start of the first joint ITEM/HNP side event during the European Week of Regions and Cities at the House of the Dutch Provinces in Brussels. Multilevel governance in practice was on the agenda and it became so. An animated discussion between different layers of government such as provinces, the Flemish […]

Relieving the border region and reducing travel movements

Previously, ITEM has written about mobility-restricting quarantine measures for the sake of preventing COVID-19 infections. Policies are so designed to minimise cross-country mobility in particular, with the winter sports season in mind. However, ends and means are not always the same, which can come at the expense of day-to-day life in border regions. However, there […]

Work in progress: Belgian social policy under construction

After 493 days of intensive negotiations, Belgium has a new federal government1  The largest amount released for the new policy is invested in social policy, i.e. 2.3 billion euros out of a total of 3.2 billion euros. The federal government’s objective is to protect social security and secure long-term financing. As a result, both the social […]

The similarity between Le Quattro Stagioni and the Brabançonne

Since the elections of 26 May 2019 for a new Belgian federal government, intensive negotiations have been held and various possible coalitions have been explored.1 Eventually, the Vivaldi coalition2 succeeded in forming a new Belgian federal government on 30 September 2020. 3This contribution examines how much music the coalition agreement4 of the Vivaldi coalition actually contains when it comes […]

Quarantine exception insufficient for border region

Continued disproportionate impact on daily life in the border region With the circulation of the Coronavirus, governments are trying to restrict the movement of people. Staying at home and limiting unnecessary travel and visits is a frequently used and successful recipe against the flare-ups of Corona infections. To this end, border traffic is also being […]

Why do Dutch entrepreneurs just across the border not receive corona benefits?

During the corona crisis, national measures in the three countries on the Limburg borders are not coordinated equally well. As a result, there is currently a situation in the border region where certain border entrepreneurs fall between the cracks, such as in the Dutch newspaper NRC on April 2nd (“Emergency support for entrepreneurs? Not for these ‘border cases“) […]