The Nancy seminar (2012)
The Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT), the DATAR (Interministerial delegation for spatial planning and regional attractiveness) and the FNAU (National Federation of Agencies of Urbanism) organised a seminar on cross-border territorial observation in 2012 in Nancy (France). The seminar was successful, the represented countries (France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Italy) agreed on set up of a working committee responsible for the harmonisation of data compiled in border regions.
Why territorial observation matters?
Territorial cohesion of the European Union as well as the development of Single Market requires on one hand the opening of internal borders and elimination of legal and administrative barriers; as well as the correct survey and analysis of the integration process based on proper data bases, on the other.
Statistical data compilation and processing fall under national competence, consequently the methods used, territorial (administrative) units measured and the timing of censa (survey period) differentiate country by country. This divergence hampers the better understanding of trans-European territorial, economic and social processes in general but it causes the biggest problems in border regions where cross-border flows should be observed.
Albeit, Eurostat compiles data from each member country (and a few countries outside of the EU) following the same methodology,
For a better permeability of the internal borders, for a higher level of economic integration and a stronger social-cultural cooperation between the European nations require more correct accessibility to data stores and stronger harmonisation of methods used in data collection and processing. For this purpose the cooperation of national statistical institutes and planning institutions is needed.
What are the objectives of the seminar?
The Nancy seminar involved responsible parties from the countries around France. However, the situation in Central and Eastern Europe is completely different as the average size of the countries is smaller (approx. 75 000 km2) than in Western Europe, the number of the borders is higher and the status of these borders (Iron Curtain included) has not enabled stakeholders to work and to develop the region together for decades. Thanks to the enlargement of the EU more and more former communist states join the Union. It makes possible not only to open the borders but start to cooperate in a strategic manner. Nevertheless, strategic cooperation needs the assessment of the current situation which is impossible without guaranteeing the availability of proper comprehensive data.
The main objectives of the seminar are the followings:
The seminar is supported by the French Institute of Budapest and the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice of Hungary.