The Dynamics of Cross-Border Labor. Commuting from the Dutch to the German Par of the Euregio Meuse-Rhinet

S.B. Bouwens

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In spite of diverging developments on national labor markets across europe and efforts to facilitate labor mobility across its internal borders in the late 1990s, cross-border commuting is of only marginal significance in the european union. Research considering the current situation holds that socio-cultural and psychological factors play a critical role in the (non-)realization of cross-border labor. Nevertheless, european border people need not always have been this immobile. Drawing on aggregated figures and contemporary reports, this article presents a historical account of commuting from the dutch to the german part of the euregio meuse-rhine (emr) between 1960 and 2000, and the way it was embedded in its economic context. It will be demonstrated that although cross-border labor from the dutch to the german part of the emr had become a marginal phenomenon in the 1980s and 1990s, in the 1960s and early 1970s it was rather common. This was the result of the dynamic interaction between (socio-)economic and “softer” issues, related to the existence of the dutch-german border. It is claimed that a historical approach to cross-border labor helps unfolding its dynamic nature and contextual embeddedness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-66
JournalJournal of Borderlands Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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