EU integration is the dream of a Europe without borders. Belgian and German border territories are an integral part of the daily lives of thousands of people in Maastricht. While there are no more passport controls, differences in legislation still complicate the European dream. Martin Unfried and ITEM research and advocate for people in European cross-border regions.
The Meuse–Rhine Euroregion (EMR) spans three countries, five regions, three languages, four million inhabitants and the cities of Maastricht, Liège, Aachen, Hasselt and Eupen. Sounds complex – and it is. “If you look at research into European integration – no matter from which angle – there’s a bit of a gap when it comes to border regions,” Martin Unfried, senior researcher at UM’s Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross-border cooperation and Mobility (ITEM), explains.