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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.


French-Belgian Border

Border Type

“Old European borders”

Which entities constitute the CB region:

Areas covered

On the French side

Département du Nord, Département de l’Aisne, Département des Ardennes, Département du Pas-de-Calais, Département de la Somme, Département de l’Oise, Département de la Marne

On the Belgian side:

  • In Wallonia : Province du Hainaut, Province de Namur, Province du Luxembourg
  • In Flanders : Provincies Weest-Vlaanderen, Provincies Oost-Vlaanderen

The territory is defined through the INTERREG  IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaaderen programme

Basic data of the border region

  • 10 500 000 inhabitants
  • area of co-operation: 62 000 km²

Important cities across the border

  • On the French side: Arras, Avesnes sur Helpe, Cambrai, Douai, Dunkerque, Lille, Valenciennes
  • On the Belgian side: Veurne, Ieper, Mouscron, Kortrijk, Tournai, Ath, Mons
  • Structure of the economy : Second and Third Sector
  • Specificities of the economy in the border region : manufacturing, metal working industry and trade
  • “Standing” of the border region : rather weak

Governance / institutionalisation of cross border co-operation within the region:

Degree of co-operation:

Cross border project funding characteristics:

  • Largely EU territorial co-operation funds

Thematic focus:

  • Economy
  • Social inclusion
  • Environment

Major Projects in the cross border region:

A few examples

Current challenges for co-operation

  • Language issues (for French people)
  • Sustainable development
  • Growth
  • Employment and mobility
  • Innovation