What the barrier is going on?

The actual status of the cities in border regions is gradually changing over the past years. Common interests and projects are the main reason to erase this political frontiers drawn on the map. With the urge of uniting people that live closer to other towns in different countries than others in their own country.

by I.Miguel Duran de Barbozza

The decision to create new definitions of social organisations, like Eurodistrict, is mainly caused by the non-stop interaction between cities that belong to a same region but to different countries. These lines on a map cause no longer any restriction to the establishment of economic, cultural and social projects with common aims and benefits.

In Cross-border Regional policy expert Jan-Philipp Exner’s opinion, “the barriers are disappearing because people are realising that the other people from the

The only information you get when you travel from Saarbrücken (Germany) to Forbach (France). Photo by Miguel Durán

other side of  the border aren’t that different from them. After the Second World War, the politicians founded the European Union and made, in a way, a good job, creating the most stable part of the World over the past decades, without any serious war, because 60 years ago that was another story”.

It is a fact that the differences in cultural, mental and historical background between France and Germany are clear, but that does not stop this barriers to slowly fade away.

Jan-Philipp Exner also explained the typical attitude between both countries as a fun thing to deal with, like the typical German punctuality or the French culture of having lunch or dinner after the reunions to develop the concepts that were arranged in the meetings.

Although this attitudes may collide with each other, it is a matter of getting used to it to keep moving towards the normalization of frontiers.

“People choose where to go to any medical consultant, in France or in Germany, or they can also decide where they want to do their shopping, if they want baguettes or good beer.

Johanna Fischner Statement

But not solely the cultural or mental differences are the only stepping stones on the way. Some cross border corporation implies many difficulties betweeen the French way of doing some things, because they have a very centralized system

French village, with an obvious German name. Photo by Miguel Durán

while the German one is more independent and faster.

It’s not that one of them is better or worse, they are just different and it takes time, especially when it comes to corporations projects, that needs more time to be calculated.

At the end, an atmosphere of confidence has to be created to get along with every particular aspect, but the Saarland Region is more developed that any other region in Germany” said Saarmoselle Eurodistrict Headmanager Mrs Johanna Fischer.

This particular aspect is one of the reasons why this region has improved so much over this past few years.

One of the goals of the Eurodistrict, in Mrs Fischer words is “in a long term planification, to create a transborder structure between France and Germany, but many judicial differences still exist, and they have to be respected, but in a personal level it is absolutely plausable, people cross everyday the border without being checked or identified”.

"European fund for regional development: Invest in your future". Photo by Miguel Durán







This Eurodistrict tries to regulate the urge of every citizen to achieve better standards, because, again in Mrs Fischer words: “At an economic level, it is better to present yourself with some partners than trying to make it on your own. You are always going to get more profit if you work along solid partners, such as in our case. Saarland is not a very visible region seen from Berlin or Paris, that is why we need to cooperate more, like a Metropolitan Region”.

To read more about the Eurodistrict, click HERE.

Want to learn more about how Saarbrücken tries to keep its high educated professionals? Click HERE.

About I.Miguel Durán de Barbozza