Inventory of existing actions promoting cross-border mobility for training and employment

Cross-border mobility in relation to training and employment

August 2020

Conseil économique, social et environnemental régional (CESER)

Mobility linked to training, far from being solely a mobility of individuals that should be supported in order to strengthen the employment area, is also a tool for combating inequalities and discrimination, and a source of innovation to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow as defined by the policy framework of the New Aquitaine Region. It can take various forms, as shown in this inventory of cooperation practices of New Aquitaine actors.

To download : 3_ceser_rapport_mobilite.pdf (360 KiB)

2.1 A multitude of projects at different territorial levels

Mobility is not an end in itself, it is a means. In this sense, cross-border mobility must be understood as a means of facilitating exchanges within a catchment area, in which citizens must too often bypass « administrative borders ». Cooperation has thus been a powerful lever for the implementation of diverse and innovative cross-border practices. An analysis of the measures implemented to promote cross-border mobility in connection with training and employment in New Aquitaine (see appendix) reveals several trends:

2.1.1 An operational dynamism which is deployed on several scales of intervention

In these practices, it is possible to observe models which articulate cross-border and Euroregional approaches rich in learning for the Region as a whole (scale of the cross-border territory, regional scale, departmental and local scales, Pyrenees Working Community). Nevertheless, the sectoral character of cooperation persists, to the detriment of a coordinated strategic approach1. Most of the direct and indirect effects of its activities benefit the cross-border territory stricto sensu, but they can also benefit other territories in the region.

2.1.2 A broad concept of mobility

Far from being limited to the cross-border mobility of workers, the various projects implement support for cross-border mobility on the basis of various modalities. Some of these projects are experimental in nature. Others are variations on development policies on which there is a consensus between actors on both sides of the border. Among the modalities of implementation, we observe

2.1.3 A diversity of motivations

For individuals: an individual cross-border employment project, acquisition of new skills, improvement of employability, personal development. For the structures: improvement of cross-border mobility as such; cross-border mobility to help achieve other objectives; improvement of an educational offer, etc.

2.1.4 A diversity of needs

The initiatives deployed in the territories show the potential of cross-border mobility as a lever for vocational training and employment in relation to a wide range of needs encountered in the territories, including

2.2 « Governance » systems: from one « millefeuille » to another

Although, as our inventory has shown, the cross-border living area has a functional reality, including mobility in relation to training and employment, the transition from a project-based approach to a more ambitious structuring of diversified cooperation requires a political will shared on both sides of the border and a coherent system of governance2.

However, the border of the New Aquitaine - Euskadi - Navarre Euroregion represents a real « millefeuille » of governance, with eight cooperation structures on the New Aquitaine side operating in the same territory.

These structures are

Although most of them receive regional funding, they have very little contact with each other. Indeed, the variety of entities working on this topic, each with its own administrative organisation and policies, as well as the overlapping of measures (calls for projects, European projects, local projects, events, etc.) hinder the adoption of a cross-cutting approach to cross-border mobility in relation to training and employment and stand in the way of the coordination of all the stakeholders 3.

In addition to this reality, there is a dissymmetry in the distribution of competences, regulations, political timetables, etc. on either side of the border, which makes it necessary to set up a governance structure involving all the institutional actors in its action. Such a governance structure could exchange information, negotiate action programmes and ensure the coherence of respective plans. A structure such as the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) of the New Aquitaine-Euskadi-Navarra Euroregion could appear to be a suitable framework, subject to a broadening of its governance to enable it to act as a link between the various cooperation structures4 .

Furthermore, a shared strategy is only possible if it is based on the reality of the cooperation practices and initiatives of the actors on the ground and the institutions with which they build these actions. This is why, in order to consolidate effective and coherent responses to the strategic challenges of the « Euroregional » living area, it is necessary to accompany and support the cooperation practices of civil society and private actors, while strengthening cooperation between the institutions located in the three regions that make up the New Aquitaine - Euskadi - Navarra Euroregion and the mechanisms to consult each other and define common solutions according to their respective competences.

  • 1 MOT, 2017, Les territoires transfrontaliers : La fabrique de l’Europe, in

  • 2 MOT, 2017, Les territoires transfrontaliers : La fabrique de l’Europe, in (consulté en novembre 2019).

  • 3 Audition de Fanny Cadet-Marthe, Chargée de mission Projets Mobilité du Conseil régional Nouvelle-Aquitaine. 11 septembre 2019.

  • 4 Conseil de développement du Pays basque, 2019, Révélons le territoire transfrontalier. Projet de schéma de coopération transfrontalière.


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