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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Archives

ITEM / University of Maastricht

1- Legal form

Public Structure (University)

2- General aim and the main mission of the institution

The Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility / ITEM (www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/item) operates at the convergence of research, counselling, knowledge exchange, and training activities in the domain of cross-border mobility and cooperation. ITEM is an interdisciplinary institute which was initiated by Maastricht University (UM) in cooperation with Zuyd Hogeschool, NEIMED, the (Dutch) province of Limburg, the city of Maastricht and the Meuse-Rhine Euregion.

3- Role of the institution regarding cross-border issues

ITEM works for and with cross-border regions in Europe and offers scientific contributions to enhancing cross-border cooperation and mobility.

ITEM works multidisciplinary. The academic and applied research is conducted at Maastricht University through a cooperation of researchers from different disciplines and faculties.  The research concentrates on the identification of the causes of problems and the provision of solutions regarding legal, economic, cultural and administrative cross-border situations.

To this end, ITEM conducts the following activities:

  • an analysis of border effects through ITEM’s annual cross border impact assessment;
  • (fundamental and applied) research on current themes (like for instance recognition of qualifications, cross-border pension, cross-border social security and taxes);
  • test cases to make a concrete contribution to the abolishment of impediments caused by borders;
  • casuistry research (real life cases) brought forward by front-offices;
  • stimulating the international scientific and political discussion on cross-border issues by providing a factual context and solution propositions;
  • (permanent) information exchange with existing border information points, expat desks, The Bureaus for Belgian and German Affairs of the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (the organization that implements national insurance schemes in the Netherlands) and other institutions, companies and advisory bodies;
  • conferences, training sessions and workshops to bring together the local, regional and international partners;
  • the ITEM cross-border portal (database) with information on regulations, jurisprudence and best practices https://itemcrossborderportal.maastrichtuniversity.nl/.

4- Activities & References

 4.1. ITEM’s contract research, some examples:

4.1.1. ITEM Cross-Border Impact Assessment (ITEM, October 2016)

The ITEM Cross-Border Impact Assessment 2016 examined the effects on border regions of:

  1. The new NL-DE tax treaty
  2. Recognition of professional qualifications
  3. Cross-border cooperation Investigation of INTERREG programmes on the Dutch border
  4. Social security: illness and disability
  5. The qualifying foreign tax obligation of section 7.8, Income Tax Act, and EU law
  6. Proposal for a directive amending Directive 96/71/EC (COM(2016) 128 def)
  7. Flexibilisation of the Old-Age Pension Commencement Date Act
  8. Cross-border employment services: Effects of mandate and capacities of the Dutch UWV
  9. Cross-border train transport – Fourth Rail Package
  10. The Belgian toll system for lorries

https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/sites/default/files/nl_item_grenseffectenrapportage_2016_versie_2.1.pdf

 4.1.2. Research into cross-border internships in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion (ITEM, March 2017-July 2017)

The five partner regions of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion have been collaborating for years in order to promote cross-border internships. Even though students at the senior secondary vocational level (MBO) can choose from many internships within the Euregion, only a small number of them actually cross the border. While the overall number of students doing an internship abroad is growing, the Meuse-Rhine Euregion, which has more international than national borders, is hardly showing any growth in the number of students doing an internship in the neighbouring countries Germany and Belgium. As a result, many internship vacancies remain open in these countries, constituting a missed opportunity for the cross-border labour market.

The ITEM Expertise Center has been commissioned by the Meuse-Rhine Euregion and EURES to start a research project to identify the obstacles and success factors regarding cross-border internships in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion. The aim of this project is to make an inventory of the success factors or obstacles for students wanting to do an internship in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion. The research is particularly aimed at institutions of senior secondary vocational education (MBO) and is led by ITEM’s ‘de-borderer’ Martin Unfried.

https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/nl/onderzoek/instituten/item/onderzoek/studie-grensoverschrijdende-stages-de-euregio-maas-rijn

4.1.3. Report Commissie Grenswerkers ‘Grenswerkers in Europa. Een onderzoek naar fiscale, sociaalverzekerings- en pensioenaspecten van grensoverschrijdend werken’ (Commissie Grenswerkers, June 2017)

Report of the Vereniging voor Belastingwetenschap: Grenswerkers in Europa. Een onderzoek naar fiscale, sociaalverzekerings- en pensioenaspecten van grensoverschrijdend werken. (Cross-border workers in Europe: An investigation into the tax, social insurance and pension aspects of cross-border work). The report was drafted by a committee chaired by assistant professor Marjon Weerepas, who is affiliated with the Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border Cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) at Maastricht University.[1] The committee offered 39 recommendations for solving these problems.

https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/sites/default/files/downloadables/grenswerkers_in_europa_-_overzicht_aanbevelingen_engels.pdf

 4.1.4. ITEM Cross-Border Impact Assessment (ITEM, November 2017)

In this ITEM Cross-Border Impact Assessment, research has been carried out into the effects for border regions of:

  1. The new NL-DE tax treaty
  2. The potential effects of German tolls for passenger cars in border regions
  3. Tax treaty Netherlands-Germany
  4. Social Security
  5. Cross-border (im)mobility of students from third countries in the Meuse-Rhine

Euregio

  1. Belgian Law on the processing of passengers data
  2. Qualifying foreign tax liability (’90% regulation’): A quantitative ex-ante impact assessment

The efforts of the ITEM Expertise centre of Maastricht University have been recognised by the European Commission as a good practice. In an official document of the Commission’s Regional Policy titled Communication “Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions”, ITEM’s annual Cross-border Impact Assessment was put forward as a good practice in order to facilitate the improvement of the legislative process within the European Union.

https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/nl/onderzoek/instituten/item/item-publicaties#cbia

4.1.5. Evaluation of the information on cross-border workers (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, 2017-beginning of 2018)

Partly in response to the results of the cross-border economy and labor action team, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is evaluating the provision of information to frontier workers. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is working on an evaluation of the total information structure and its effectiveness, so that the views and insights of all parties involved can be taken into account in the decision-making on the structural financing of the information structure. The evaluation will be completed at the end of 2017. Decision making about the structural financing of the entire information structure will follow. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is also discussing this with the neighboring countries. ITEM (in the form of Martin Unfried) was on the supervisory committee of this study.

4.1.6. Cross-border Corporate Mobility in the EU (March 2017-March 2020)

The project will be, in short, a data collection exercise concerning company mobility within the EU/EEA using these instruments: European companies (SE, SCE), cross-border mergers, cross-border seat transfers and cross-border divisions. Data therefore will be collected on these instruments for all 28 EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The data will be collected from 2017 onwards until at least 2020. Following the successful award of a Jean Monnet grant by the European Commission, the project has been extended to also cover the period starting from 2000. The project monitors now the period 2000 until 2020. The project is financed by the European Trade Union Institute and the European Commission (Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Project Grant | EAC/A03/2016).

4.1.7. Report on Specialised IC Nurses (March 2017-March 2018)

In the event of shortages in the labour market, the natural solution is to hire staff from across the border. This is no different for IC nurses. The case recently studied by ITEM was practical in nature: a Dutch hospital in the border region was facing a shortage of IC nurses similar to the shortage of Dutch applicants. The logical solution would have been to recruit IC nurses across the border. While Belgian candidates indeed applied for the positions, their appointment did not appear to be evident.

In response to this situation, the Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross-border cooperation and Mobility / ITEM received a request from the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations to study the issue of specialised IC nurses, whose mobility seemed to be hindered by the existing quality standard. Quality standards are necessary and common in Dutch healthcare, mainly to ensure a high quality of medical care. For IC nurses, quality is mainly guaranteed by making requirements regarding their qualifications, i.e. demanding a diploma that is recognised by the College Zorgopleidingen (CZO), the Dutch quality supervisor for healthcare education. Such a diploma can currently only be obtained in the Netherlands, meaning that Belgian IC nurses a priori will not meet the standard. How is this handled in practice? How is this regulated by European law? What possible solutions can be proposed? These questions were the focus of the study carried out by ITEM.

The study found that, in practice, it was often decided to have IC nurses with a foreign diploma follow a full or partial CZO-recognized training programme. Such decisions are due to differences between the practical components of the training programmes and the potential consequences of not complying with the applicable quality standard.

The quality standard, which demands a CZO-recognised diploma, was reviewed as to its application of European Law, particularly regarding the recognition of professional qualifications and the free movement of persons. Although the recognition of professional qualifications at European level has been laid down in the Professional Qualifications Directive, the profession of ‘specialised IC nurse’ is not considered a regulated profession. ITEM has found that the quality standard can be considered an impediment to the free movement of workers and an infringement on the right to non-discrimination on the basis of nationality.

In conclusion of its study, ITEM proposed a number of possible solutions related to the formulation of the quality standard, the comparison of training programmes in The Netherlands and Belgium, increased cross-border cooperation in healthcare and a follow-up study.

You can consult the report and the presentation via the links below: (only available in Dutch)
ITEM – De Grensoverschrijdende Mobiliteit van Gespecialiseerde Verpleegkundigen IC – Nederland/België – L. Kortese (4.78MB, PDF)
ITEM – Presentatie – Grensoverschrijdende mobiliteit van verpleegkundigen IC – 7 maart 2018 (270KB, PDF)

4.1.8. Gain Insight into the Professional Qualifications Directive (September 2017-March 2018)

Directive 2005/36/EC, also known as the Professional Qualifications Directive is the instrument on the recognition of professional qualifications for regulated professions. The directive underwent an extensive modernisation via Directive 2013/55/EU, which updated the complex instrument. The Professional Qualifications Directive is applicable to those professionals who are looking to carry out their regulated profession in another Member State. This means that the directive only applies to professions for which qualification requirements are laid down in laws, regulations or administrative provisions.

The fact that the instrument only applies to regulated professions may give the impression that its scope of application is limited. The EU nevertheless counts thousands of such professions, meaning that it is of great importance to ensure the mobility of professionals exercising regulated professions. The directive itself provides for multiple routes and procedures for recognition. Additionally, the instrument also lays down provisions concerned with the exercise of the profession. All in all, the Professional Qualifications Directive is a long and complex instrument which may prove challenging to navigate.

ITEM has developed a brief explanatory guide to increase the readability of the Professional Qualifications Directive thereby allowing interested parties to quickly gain insight in the directive’s structure and content.

A hard copy of the Simple Guide to the Professional Qualifications Directive is available in Dutch and German at a cost of 12,50 €. To order your copy, please send an email to ITEM@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

4.1.9. ITEM Cross-Border Impact Assessment (completion November 2018)

ITEM Cross-border Impact Assessment 2018 – Dossiers

1. Increase low VAT tariff – NL coalition agreement
2. Euregional mindset
3. Pilot projects cannabis cultivation municipalities – NL coalition agreement
4. Qualifying foreign taxpayer obligation (’90% rule’)
5. National regulations on retirement age NL/BE/DE
6. eIDAS Regulation – Opening up public digital services to citizens and companies from other Member States
7. Social security of the non-standard worker or the atypical worker
8. Environmental & agricultural companies – Emission allowances & fertilizer

4.1.10. National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) (started in  2017)

The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) project is a six-year long transnational project which aims to prepare key actors in the integration field in 15 EU Member States to better face the current challenges and improve the integration outcomes of beneficiaries of international protection. As it takes currently on average 17 years, before refugees fleeing civil wars may eventually have a chance to return to their home country, the long-term integration of newly arrived beneficiaries of international protection is without alternative and presents an immediate challenge for European societies. NIEM will establish a mechanism for a biennial, comprehensive evaluation of the integration of beneficiaries of international protection to provide evidence on gaps in integration standards, identify promising practices and evaluate the effects of legislative and policy changes © http://www.forintegration.eu

4.1.11.   Transfrontier fiscality (autumn 2017- spring 2018)

Commissioned by the Council of Europe, ITEM has produced a research report on the ‘fair distribution of taxes in cross-border areas’.

4.1.12.   Methodology for territorial impact assessment for cross-border regions (2018)

Commissioned by DG Regional Policy and Urban Development of the European Commission, ITEM is conducting research into improved methodology of territorial impact assessments for border regions.

4.2. ITEM PhD research, some examples

4.2.1. ‘Qualification problems: between social security and supplementary pension’ (3-year PhD project started September 2015, presumed promotion date March 2019)

The European Commission aims at the specification and stimulation of an adequate pension. European countries have initiated reforms of pension systems not only to provide an adequate pension but also a financially sustainable pension system. These reforms, however, all have a national focus. The pension systems of the European countries show a wide variety. In some countries, for instance, the emphasis is on the first pillar pension (social security), while in other countries the second pillar pension is important, whereas in an internal situation, both pillars mostly are attuned to each other. In cross-border situations, an entirely different legislation (Regulation 883/2004) applies to first pillar pensions than to second pillar pensions (tax treaties).

Also the tax treatment of the pension is not the same in every country (not every country e.g. allows premium deduction or provides exemptions during the accrual phase based on the same conditions). The problems are aggravated because the one and the same pension can be characterized differently. When a mobile employee builds up a pension in cross-border situations, he will be confronted with the problems of this pension qualification. Depending upon the qualification, he may or may not qualify for tax relief concerning the pension accumulation, but he may also encounter favourable or less favourable tax consequences if the pension is paid out. The aim of this research is to reach common criteria that from a European perspective can be applied in cross-border pension situations, resulting in an equal tax treatment guaranteeing the free movement of workers.

4.2.2. Cross-Border Liability in Subcontracting Chains (3-year PhD project started in October 2015, presumed promotion date April 2019)

Cross-border employment involves a number of thorny issues. With respect to the cross-border hiring of contractors or subcontractors, a key question is the country in which income taxes and social insurance deductions are to be paid. The subject of cross-border employment has received considerable attention. The European labour market, fraudulent employment constructions and the free movement of services are the primary reasons for this. Countries try to resolve problems by adopting new legislation and stronger law enforcement. Changes are currently being introduced at the European level as well.

Rules for liability in the subcontracting chain can be used in cases in which the payment of taxes and social insurance obligations do not occur in the usual manner. Subcontracting chain liability makes it possible to hold parties liable for the collection of taxes and insurance deductions other than the party owing the taxes. The applicable law contains numerous conditions. An important question is whether current Dutch law allows for the collection of unpaid taxes from a third party found liable for payment of such taxes if that party resides abroad. An unequivocal answer has not always been given in the Netherlands. A possible conflict with the free movement of services plays a role in this discussion. Also implicated is the free movement of workers. It would be very useful to know whether Belgium and Germany have comparable chain liability laws and how these countries deal with cross-border liability. Both legislation and jurisprudence are important in this regard. The aim of the research is to determine how The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany deal with cross-border liability in subcontracting chains and to make proposals for a possible change with respect to cross-border liability.

4.2.3.  The Recognition of Qualifications in the EU: Blurring the Lines of Competences between the Internal Market and Education (4-year PhD project started in October 2015, presumed promotion date March 2020)

Before individuals with a desire to work or study in another Member State are able to do so, they need to make sure that they will be granted access to the host Member State’s labour market or educational system. In many cases, recognition of their professional or academic qualifications is a prerequisite to working or studying in a second Member State. Underlying the recognition of qualifications is a theoretical distinction between two types of recognition: professional recognition related to working in another Member State and academic recognition for those who want to study in a second Member State. Originally of a theoretical nature, this distinction has been accompanied by a division in EU competences. Whereas professional recognition falls within the scope of the EU’s internal market competence, academic recognition falls under the restrictive EU competence in the area of education and culture.

In this context, it is clear that the EU is the main actor on professional recognition. The recently modernized Directive 2005/36/EC regulates access to another Member State’s labour market for those professionals exercising a regulated profession. Access for non-regulated professions falls within the scope of the free movement Articles in the Treaties, meaning access to such professions is largely dependent on the decision of the employer. The situation for academic recognition is less clear-cut. Being outside the scope of the EU’s competence to create hard law, the area is dominated by various actors who also create their own legislation and cooperation initiatives. This has resulted in a factor complicating the area of the recognition of qualifications: EU Member States both implement the EU Directive on professional recognition, but also take part in non-EU academic recognition initiatives that need to be implemented in their national legal orders. What are the consequences of this disparity of legal instruments? How does this affect the free movement of persons? Located at the border between two strongly different competences, this PhD research seeks to provide answers to the aforementioned questions and strives to provide solutions to the longstanding issue of the recognition of qualifications.

4.2.4.   Accountability in social work. A comparative study of accountability strategies for social workers in Flandern, Nordrhein-Westfalen and the Netherlands (4-year PhD project started in January 2016, presumed promotion date March 2020)

Limburg is an ageing province – care and welfare hence are important topics. De-institutionalisation, decentralisations, active citizenship, community healthcare service – to name but a few important terms – are central in the transformation of the welfare state. This movement occurs in Flanders, the Netherlands as well as in North Rhine-Westphalia. Research into the quality of life in the three areas and transnational comparison, particularly when it concerns the social support and the related responsibilities, hence is more than relevant.

The research will be accompanied by workshops, conferences, courses and other forms of transfer and dissemination. These activities will be specifically listed in the project plan.

4.2.5. The onward migration of asylum migrants in the Netherlands (4-year PhD project started in January 2016, presumed promotion date April 2020)

What binds immigrants to a region? This project analyses the migration trajectories of immigrants in a border region context, with a specific focus on the province of Limburg. In the project we analyse the mobility pathways among migrants once they arrive in the destination context; whereas some stay, others move on, to another region in the Netherlands or abroad and, finally, again others may migrate, but return afterwards, or find themselves in an in-between cross-border life situation. We look at various types of immigrants, ranging from students, highly-skilled and unskilled labour migrants, family migrants and refugees, coming both from within the European Union and beyond. The project focuses on migration trajectories in the context of individual life courses, legal status transitions (such as citizenship acquisition) and economic and demographic characteristics of border regions. Furthermore, we look at the relevance of contextual factors at municipality or neighbourhood level to determine whether social capital (e.g., social contacts, participation in society, institutional trust) influences why some municipalities are more successful in ‘binding’ immigrants than others. The project employs a quantitative methodology, analysing longitudinal register and survey data from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on foreign-born residents and natives with a focus on comparing municipalities within Limburg and within other regions in the Netherlands.

 4.2.6. ‘Research concerning outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) and the integrated cross-border policy in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion’ (3-year PhD project started in March 2016, presumed promotion date September 2019)

In recent years, there has been a lot of attention for forms of organised, subversive crime in the border area between Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, in particular the Meuse-Rhine Euregion. Think e.g. of the outlaw motorcycle gangs which have greatly expanded over the past decade. This project aims at identifying the role of the border for the (criminal) activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs and their members, as well as for measures imposed on outlaw bikers by the competent authorities, following an integrated policy. The term integrated policy refers to an approach whereby the nature, the seriousness and the extent of a crime phenomenon is clarified by various partners (police, Public Prosecutor, taxes, special criminal investigation departments, government) and whereby all the parties involved in conjunction with one another develop a method to keep that problem under control.

The research will therefore focus on (1) cross-border activities by outlaw motorcycle gangs (2) information sharing and cross-border operations by competent authorities and (3) how to improve the current situation regarding the cross-border approach to outlaw motorcycle gangs on the basis of situational crime prevention.

 4.2.7. Towards a cross-border pension tracking service between the Netherlands and Germany (3-year PhD project started in June 2016, presumed promotion date December 2019)

The freedom for citizens to live and work where they want is a strong European asset. In Europe, about 8 million people work for a shorter or longer time outside of their home country. They thereby of course build pension. How and how much may vary from one country to another, as is the case for the retirement age and other options. The problem they are confronted with is that to date, there is not one central place to which they can address themselves to gain insight in their individual pension rights. At this moment, it has to be considered and retrieved per country. A European pension register could offer a solution: then there would be one coordinating system in which all the European pensions can be found. The TTYPE (Track and Trace Your Pension in Europe)-consortium, which, on the authority of the European Commission, has recorded the possibilities for a European tracking system, has stated in its final conclusions that it is possible, but a lot still needs to be done.

Within this context, the PhD research focuses on the cross-border information and communication improvement between the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. In the Netherlands, there is a national pension register where the citizen can find the information on his pension contribution and his employee pension. Belgium also newly has a national pension register. In Germany, there is no national system at this moment.

And yet there is a large labour mobility between these countries. The research focuses on a mutual information and communication system between these countries. The research is executed within the scope of the TTYPE-project and can as such put forward its results.

4.2.8. Communication in multilingual workplaces in the Euroregion (3-year PhD project started in January 2017, presumed promotion date May 2021)

In the Netherlands, as elsewhere in Europe, labour mobility across borders is increasing, which leads to multilingualism, language barriers and cultural barriers in the workplace. The Dutch province of Limburg and the neighbouring German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia are regions where workers commute daily across the Dutch-German border. This area is part of the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion and the Euregio Rhine-Meuse-North.

In these workplaces, groups and individuals can choose for different languages, including (1) a national standard language: Dutch or German, (2) a local dialect: Limburgish or Low German, (3) a lingua franca: English, and (4) a minority language: for example Polish or Turkish. Moreover, it is possible to (5) switch between various languages: code-mixing, or to (6) choose for receptive multilingualism: a communication mode whereby everyone speaks the language (s)he prefers, while relying on other peoples’ ability to understand that language.

The most important research question is which communication modes are used in the workplace, by which people and in what situations. By looking at concrete, daily language practices in the workplace, the idea is to map problems, and to formulate recommendations for future employees on the euroregional labour market.

4.2.9. Employment and Social Security of Patchwork-Workers in a De-territorialized Labour Market in the EU: New Patterns of Work and Mobility regarding the Cultural Industries considered in the Light of EU Law (3-year PhD project started in January 2017, presumed promotion date June 2020)

In the 21st century, rapid technological progress, increased competition stemming from globalisation, changing consumer demand and significant growth of the services sector demand more flexibility on the labour market. This can be seen in the emerging trend of variations in work organisation, working hours, wages, and workforce size. Against that background, the classical ‘employee’ working for an undetermined period for one employer only seems to become the exception rather than the rule. Due to different forms of work, more persons are working across borders within the European Union, especially in border regions such as the Euregio Maas-Rijn.

Since employment statuses and social security rights are interconnected, the EU fundamental right of free movement interferes naturally with the competence of Member States to establish their social security system. The current approach of coordinating the national systems aims to unite the Member States’ will to protect their social security system with the States volition to enable a European Single Market. Therefore, the EU Regulation 883/2004 applies the principle that only one national social security applies to an individual. Flexible labour agreements, such as on-call contracts or job sharing, increase the complexity of the application of Regulation 883/2004.

Notably, new patterns of work and mobility combined with several forms of employment simultaneously – the patchwork-worker – result in complex and legal unclear situations. It may be true that employers need more workers by flexible agreements; however, workers want social security protection and need legal certainty as to which rule applies. Moreover, no sufficient or well-organised protection of the social security position of migrant workers could deter employees to accept posts in the other Member States that need to be occupied. Or, in times of economic recession, employers could take advantage of the weaker position of the worker while proposing flexible agreements only.

4.2.10. Understanding the decision of international migrants to stay or leave the Euroregion (3-year PhD project started in January 2018, presumed promotion date June 2021)

The goal of this project is to better understand the decision-making factors of international migrants in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine with regard to arrival, staying or leaving the region. In particular, the project focuses on perceived advantages or disadvantages of living in a border region. The outcomes from the project will enable policy-makers in the region to employ policies to better attract and retain highly-skilled international migrants in the region. The research is planned to cover the Netherlands: Sittard/Geleen, Maastricht, Heerlen; Germany: Aachen, Düren/Jülich; Belgium: Liege, Hasselt, Genk. This project will use both surveys conducted with migrants in the region and in-depth interviews with highly-skilled migrants and stakeholders. Key areas of focus for this project are on international migrants, cross-border workers, third country nationals, reason for initial migration and more.

 4.3.  ITEM casuistry research, some examples;

ITEM has received more than 130 real life cases from mainly border information points, interest representatives and front offices. Of these 130, the 43 cases below are fully described on the ITEM cross-border portal: https://itemcrossborderportal.maastrichtuniversity.nl/p/publiccases

Case description Topic Case number
DigiD applications impossible for cross-border workers who only work here; do not live in the Netherlands / do not have the Dutch nationality. General Issues (AP) 24
Is the insurance company allowed to maintain a geographical restriction with regard to reimbursing costs? General Issues (AP) 12
Is it compatible with European Union / Dutch law that funding for programs that are given outside the Netherlands and organized by a Dutch Intermediate Vocational Education institution is refused? General Issues (AP) 34
Does a third-country national with a Belgian residence permit and married to a Dutch citizen, living in Belgium need a work permit to open a bridal fashion business in the Netherlands? Algemene problematiek 83
Housing in Vaals from third-country nationals who study in Aachen faces problems. General Issues (AP) 89
What are the consequences of the “letting go” of the generally binding collective labor agreements for the proposed changes with regard to the Posting of Workers Directive? Labor Law (AR) 101
Should a German employer comply with the mandatory Dutch employment regulations with a Dutch employee? Can Dutch pension funds refuse foreign established employers as contracting parties? Pensions (PE) 51
Appeal procedure for repayments in addition to interest for subsequent payments received by the petitioner in 2013 from the Rentenversicherung wegen Zuschuss zur Krankenversicherung for the period 2008-2011. Taks Law (BR) 50
Income statement Germany and Spain. Does the situation in which there is not 90% of the income earned in the Netherlands also require an income statement to be submitted? Tax Law (BR) 79
Problems with the use of services that are enjoyed outside the country of residence but on which the country of residence still imposes tax (insurance tax BE / NL, trade in BE / foreign securities). Tax Law (BR) 103
Regarding the 90% rule, or savings in Belgium are also included in the 90% regulation. Tax Law (BR) 127
How is Article 19 (1) (b) of the tax treaty between the Netherlands and Sweden interpreted by a PhD student who moves abroad but stays in NL? Tax Law (BR) 10
With regard to internet pharmacies and the difference in the arrangement between Germany and the Netherlands Health Law (GR) 128
Is the subsidy scheme for demand funding Higher Education also applicable to a student residing in Belgium who is studying in the Netherlands? Education (OND) 1001
Are the Belgian authorities allowed to not recognize a Dutch Master’s title for the practice of the profession of psychologist? What happens if the title is recognized, but the specialization is not? Education (OND) 13
May recognition of professional qualifications for doctor last for 4 months? Education (OND) 27
Can an authority refuse automatic recognition on the grounds that there is no certificate which was required in the annex, if the applicant submits a similar certificate from another Member State? Should the time periods of three/four months subsequently take place? Education (OND) 29
Can students with an Italian residence permit for long-term residents in the Netherlands receive a residence permit with the restriction ‘study’? Do persons with EU-long term residence permit have the right to equal treatment in education if they do not live in the country where they are enrolled? Education (OND) 52

4. Publications

Below, you can find a selection of ITEM publications. For a more comprehensive list, please visit our website: www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/item.

  • Frank Cörvers, Bert van Landeghem (2016), Arbeidsmarktbeleid voor oudere werkzoekenden: Vlaanderen en Nederland, Netspar Opinion Paper 67, Industry Paper Series, Tilburg University. (article published in magazine OVER∙WERK, 2016, Nr. 2, pp. 46-52)
  • Inge Hooijen, Christoph Meng, Julia Reinold & Melissa Siegel (2017) Competition for talent: retaining graduates in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, European Planning Studies, 25:12, 2212-2231
  • Frank Cörvers and Inge Hooijen, Notitie voor de Provincie Limburg naar aanleiding van de workshop ‘Human Capital and Regional Development’, ROA-F-2017/5, Maastricht University.
  • Daniëlle Bertrand-Cloodt, Frank Cörvers and Hans Heijke (2017), Ability, academic climate, and going abroad for work or pursuing a PhDCESifo Economic Studies, Vol. 63, pp. 119-140.  See appendix  for article.
  • M. Unfried (2017), ITEM-effecten voor grensregio’s- Quick Scan Regeerakkoord 2017, ITEM Maastricht University.
  • B. Didden, C. Feriks, B. Hamacher, A. Hoogenboom, K. Geurtjens, V. Kooijman, S. Kramer, S. Suárez Louzao, M. Quammie, T. van Ruitenburg (Erasmus University Rotterdam), M. Unfried,
  • M. Weerepas, H. Yakubi (2017), ITEM- Insight stories on cross-border situatons, ITEM Maastricht University
  • ITEM (2017), Knelpunten erkenning kwalificaties, ITEM Maastricht University
  • M. Weerepas, G. Essers (2017), Grensoverschrijdende pensioenen: gebrek aan samenhang tussen fiscale en sociale heffingen, Magazine for  Pensioenvraagstukken, 2017, nr.5, p. 11-17
  • H. Schneider, A. Hoogenboom, L. Kortese (2017), ITEM- professionele erkenning inzichtelijk gemaakt, ITEM Maastricht University
  • M. Weerepas (2017) , Grensoverschrijdend thuiswerken en verzekeringsplicht, NTFR Beschouwingen
  • K. Geurtjens, M. de Hoon, L.Kortese, K. Heller, B. Didden, S. Kramer (2017),  ITEM- Beyond the Refugee Crisis: a reflection from different perspectives on the Dutch case,  Maastricht university
  • M. Weerepas (2017), Grenswerkers in Europa-Een onderzoek naar fiscal, sociaalverzekerings- en pensioenaspecten van grensoverschrijdend werken, Vereniging voor Belastingwetenschap
  • S. Bemetmans (2017), Highlights OECD Pensions Outlook 2016, VTO pensioen
  • Frank Cörvers, Ardi mommers (2017), Lesgeven onder de tropische zon, Didactief, 1 mei 2017

[1] The committee further consisted of the members: G.J.C.  Essers, H. van der Most, mr.drs. P.H. Schonewille, drs. J.J.G. Sijstermans, mw.mr. T. Theele, en mr. H. de Vries.


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