The current unprecedented crisis has put to the test all aspects of our life, including cross-border cooperation, which is facing its most significant setback in decades. Overnight, Member States closed their borders across the European Union without consulting their neighbours. This instantly put different sectors of our economy into a very difficult position, with some sectors, in certain regions, facing potential collapse. After decades of prosperity and open borders, we once again saw split families, workers not being able to reach their workplaces, with travelling and trading slowed to almost a standstill at the beginning of the crisis.
On the other hand, the crisis has also shown the incredible resourcefulness, ingenuity and solidarity between the peoples of Europe, proving once again that cross-border cooperation is not only wanted by Europe's citizens, but it is essential for the livelihoods of many of them.
Based on the feedback of the border regions gathered over the past year, and a number of studies that were commissioned, the CoR will be adopting a resolution on the Future of Cross-Border Cooperation at the July CoR Plenary. This resolution, which will serve as a contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe, will outline concrete proposals on how to strengthen cross-border cooperation, but also how to make sure that cross-border cooperation, and the citizens living in border regions, are never as heavily impacted by a future crisis, as it was the case this time.
This conference is organized to discuss the effects of the pandemic on cross-border cooperation, and it will feature a presentation of the Resolution and a debate on the future of cross-border cooperation based on the experiences prior and during the pandemic.