The first GrenzNetz Conference of 2023 took place in Mönchengladbach on 4 and 5 May 2023. At this legal working group, current problems and obstacles to mobility in cross-border life and work are discussed, compared with current case law, the various experiences and best-practice examples from day-to-day business are exchanged and joint approaches to solutions are developed. The members of the GrenzNetz include specialists from the various advisory institutions for cross-border commuters along the West German borders and other bodies that have made it their task to eliminate obstacles to mobility.
Of course, the topic of home offices in the neighbouring country was also on the agenda. However, this is not the only burning issue that cross-border workers have to deal with. A major focus of the meeting was accident insurance and working in the European Union. Guest speakers Stefanie Klein and Thomas Auer from the German Liaison Office for Accident Insurance – Abroad (DVUA) of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) were present.
The excellent organisation by the GrenzInfoPunkt rhein-maas-nord in Mönchengladbach included an exciting social programme in addition to the specialist topics, in order to bring the participants closer to their own region culturally.
With cross-border workers and companies from a total of seven countries, each of which has its own regulations, it quickly becomes apparent that pan-European solutions are reaching their limits. Here, too, the counselling centres are the key: they mirror the daily experiences to the decision-makers and thus ensure that recurring problems at the level of the cross-border labour market can be solved quickly and sustainably.
The fruitful cooperation of this network will be continued and consolidated in the future. The members agree that both cross-border and national communication among the counselling centres is indispensable in order to eliminate hurdles and obstacles to mobility and to allow Europe to grow even closer together at this level.
In addition to the GrenzInfoPunkt Aachen-Eurode (for the Euregio Meuse-Rhine), the Euregio Rhine-Meuse-North and the EUREGIO (Gronau-Enschede), the partners of the Border Network are the Sønderjylland-Schleswig region, the German-French-Swiss Upper Rhine Conference from the trinational metropolitan region of the Upper Rhine (represented by the INFOBEST network) and the Task Force Cross-border Workers 2.0 of the Greater Region, which includes France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany.