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European Crossborder Skills (ECBS)

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Border areas are an important facet of the European Union. Indeed, they cover 40% of its territory. 30% of the EU population lives in this kind of region (corresponding to around 150 millions inhabitants) and they generate 30% of the GPD of the EU (1). Many citizens cross the border daily for various reasons (work, leisure, purchase, etc.). The labour market in these particular areas is quite important, with 1.3 million of cross-border workers (2). The activity of a cross-border labour market depends on many factors like wage differences, job opportunities and transport connections (3).

Education is also an important aspect of border areas, with many pupils and students on the opposite side of the border. While, in the field of vocational education and training, "cross-border regions are [...] yet underexplored especially in terms of the education and training dimension" (4), higher education institutions (HEIs) are engaged, for a long time, in a strong cross-border cooperation. Universities offer several multiple diplomas (double or triple diplomas), which are one of the many tools that strengthen the employability of a recently graduated student on both sides of the border.



(1) Communication de la Commission européenne. Stimuler la croissance et la cohésion des régions frontalières de l’Union européenne, COM(2017) 534 du 20 septembre 2017.

(2) Ibid.

(3) Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) and has to face to different difficulties, among them the knowledge in languages and the mutual recognition of qualifications Information services for cross-border workers in European border regions, October 2012.

(4) L. Graf. Skill formation in cross-border contexts: The case of the trinational Upper Rhine region. In: Pilz M./Li J. (Eds.) Comparative Vocational Education Research. Enduring Challenges and New Ways Forward. Wiesbaden, Springer VS, 131-147, 2020.