The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a change in the way people live, work and travel. The closure of the EU's internal and external borders or other protective measures introduced by policymakers has affected cross-border mobility as well as cross-border (but not only) regions’ societies and labour markets. Even though the EU external cross-border flows were in the past vulnerable to various political and economic factors (e.g. introducing a visa system, agreement on local cross-border traffic), only the pandemic showed how relevant are such measures for noticeable and broad change in international mobility.
The ESPON IRiE is developed in this context. The general objective is to analyze interregional flows of goods, services, people, capital and Knowledge for the EU27+UK+EFTA countries, to design actions that reduce barriers and facilitate the economic interaction at all these levels. In this framework, the effects of different types of scenarios will be analyzed, such as the Covid-19 epidemic or the Brexit process for the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.
The session will be developed as an interactive workshop including 2 main parts:
- Presentation of the ESPON project on Interregional Relations in Europe. Interdependencies between European countries are well known and strongly documented, but this is not the case for the relations between European regions. This new ESPON project aims at providing a new understanding of the interrelations between Europe’s economies at the regional level. To achieve this goal, this research will use innovative methods to overcome data limitations on inter-regional linkages and flows of people, goods, capital, knowledge and services. The analysis of the relationships between regions will determine the extent to which the existence and the intensity of interregional flows are drivers for and/or barriers to the development of regional competitiveness and cohesion. https://www.espon.eu/interregional-relations-europe-new-project-espon
- Panel discussion, involving different actors, which main aim is to discuss 4 case studies about:
- Interregional flows of goods between Spain - France and Portugal
- Interregional flows of knowledge in Europe. Shifts among leaders and new players.
- Investment flows from Greece to Bulgaria and the COVID-19 pandemic: Is there a trend halt?
- Migration flows across the outer boundary of the EU (PL-UA, PL-BY). The potential effects of COVID-19 on the cross-border mobility