7th intergovernmental commission for the strengthening of cross-border cooperation

The 7th meeting of the Franco-Luxembourgish Intergovernmental Commission for the Strengthening of Cross-border Cooperation (CIG) took place in Thionville (France) on 17 April 2023. The delegation of the French Republic was led by Ms Laurence Boone, Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in charge of Europe, and Ms Corinne Cahen, Minister for the Greater Region of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.


    Photo de famille

    Photo de famille


    (de g. à dr.) Laurence Boone, secrétaire d'État auprès de la ministre de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères, chargée de l'Europe ; Corinne Cahen, ministre à la Grande Région du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg

    (de g. à dr.) Laurence Boone, secrétaire d'État auprès de la ministre de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères, chargée de l'Europe ; Corinne Cahen, ministre à la Grande Région du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg

The cross-border cooperation between Luxembourg and France has intensified considerably since the creation of the Intergovernmental Conference in 2010. It has contributed significantly to the integration of our border areas for the benefit of their inhabitants through exchanges in numerous fields. The consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic have further brought the two countries closer to each other, having kept their common border open throughout the health crisis.

As the number of French residents working in Luxembourg is steadily increasing - over 120,000 at the beginning of 2023 - both sides reaffirm their commitment to this intergovernmental framework in order to ensure good coordination of public policies. This body also aims to stimulate the emergence and implementation of joint initiatives designed to improve the daily lives of border residents and promote the harmonious economic development of this area, based on co-development.

Since the last intergovernmental conference, progress has been made on telework by raising the tax tolerance threshold from 29 to 34 days through an amendment to the tax agreement signed on 7 November 2022. As telework continues to expand, both parties are committed to continuing discussions by the end of 2024 in order to reach a permanent solution as of 1 January 2025, if necessary, through the conclusion of a new agreement. In addition, France has decided to simplify the administrative procedures for Luxembourgish employers who employ teleworkers residing in France. Thus, the financial law of 2023 introduces a mechanism for timely advance payments debited directly from the employees' bank account instead of the application of a withholding tax by the employer.

Facilitating travel and the mobility of cross-border workers, which are at the heart of our fellow citizens' concerns, is another important topic of cooperation between the two parties, which focus on collective and sustainable transport, as this is the only way to ensure medium-term solutions for the growing flow of cross-border workers.

Substantial work has been launched based on the Protocol of Agreement on strengthening cooperation in cross-border transport signed on 20 March 2018. This agreement sets out the financing of 240 million euros between the French and Luxembourg parties, of which 220 million euros are devoted to rail transport and 20 million euros to car-pooling policy and public transport services by road. The commitment to cross-border rail transport is strengthened by the amendment to the protocol signed on 19 October 2021, which increases the investment for this mode of transport to 440 million EUR, i.e. a contribution of 110 million EUR from each of the parties compared to the initial protocol.

With regard to the railway part, it is envisaged that the work financed by the Protocol and its amendment will be carried out in two phases.

The first phase, targeting 2024-2025, is well underway: the work on extending the platforms on the French side should be completed by the end of 2023, and studies on strengthening the line's electrical infrastructure are continuing. These improvements will enable the first capacity level to be reached with the circulation of trains with an additional train set. In addition, Park and Ride (P&R) facilities planned for Longwy and Thionville stations will be operational in 2024, respectively in 2025, while a first part of the P&R facility at Longwy has been in 2021.

With the arrival of new trains purchased by the Grand Est region, all this work will enable a capacity increase from 8,000 to 14,000 seats per day and per direction at rush hours.

The second phase, to be completed by 2028-2030, will allow for a further leap in capacity with the aim of reaching 22,000 seats through optimised use of the infrastructure. This phase includes, in particular, upgrades for the benefit of freight traffic and for increasing the electrical capacity of the line, for which studies are due to be launched in 2023.

Concerning the road section, the Thionville-Metzange park-and-ride (P+R) car park was inaugurated on 12 July 2022 in the presence of the Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, the Minister of the Greater Region Corinne Cahen and the Secretary of State to the Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, responsible for rural areas, Dominique Faure.

Both sides agreed to commission a comprehensive study on cross-border mobility between Luxembourg and the cross-border employment area in France, located in particular in the north of Lorraine and gradually extending from the south of Thionville to Metz.


Already now, several projects for cross-border BHNS lines supported by the Moselle department have been mentioned, including the project between Frisange (Luxembourg) and Hettange-Grande (France) on the RD 653. The modalities of a financial participation of Luxembourg in the scheme of cross-border high-speed buses and park-and-ride (P+R) facilities will be determined depending on the results of the overall study mentioned above.

Both sides also welcomed the progress made on the upgrading of the A3 and A31 and agreed to support the development of public transport and carpooling on this axis.

In France, the A31 bis project, which would allow the extension of the motorway between the border and Thionville and the Thionville bypass, was the subject of public consultation from the end of November 2022 to the beginning of February 2023. The public consultation based on the chosen route will be launched in 2024. On the Luxembourg side, the completion of the works to widen the A3 to 2x3 lanes is scheduled for the end of 2030.

France and Luxembourg have also decided to set up a new working group on the environment. This new field of cross-border cooperation will initially address issues related to cross-border waste deposits.

In the field of health cooperation, the two parties signed a statement of intention to set up an Observatory for health data, surveillance and alert in the border living areas of the Grand Est Region and Luxembourg. This digital observatory will aim to respond to the need for deepening accurate and mutual knowledge of health data in the French-Luxembourgish cross-border living area in order to better anticipate epidemics and global health issues on each side.

The Commission confirmed the intention of both sides to facilitate access to local health care for the border population. A working group has been set up.

With regard to medical training and in accordance with an agreement signed in 2021, Luxembourg and four French universities (Sorbonne Université, Université Paris Cité, Université de Strasbourg, Université de Lorraine) have signed an operational agreement for the implementation of the amendment to the Additional Protocol on Scientific and Academic Cooperation. This agreement specifies in particular the amount and payment modalities of Luxembourg's participation in the clinical training of students from the University of Luxembourg's bachelor's degree in medicine for the three years of preparation for the advanced medical sciences diploma.

The two countries also signed a statement of intention on the establishment of an enhanced multilingual education programme in English, German and Luxembourgish on the territory of the EGTC Alzette-Belval. This would start in the kindergarten and continue in elementary schools in the municipality of Villerupt and in the secondary school of Audun-le-Tiche. Luxembourg would provide assistants and teachers in Luxembourgish, while France would provide the Luxembourgish side with training in French literacy for Luxembourgish teachers.

Furthermore, both sides have agreed to exchange information on the organisation and management of education and care services on both sides of the border and to finalise coordination between the competent institutions so that reimbursement of care benefits in kind provided in France to insured persons under the Luxembourg scheme can be made in accordance with the provisions of the EU Regulation 883/2004.

In addition, both sides welcomed the cross-border success of Esch-sur-Alzette, European Capital of Culture 2022, which involved the Community of the municipalities of Pays Haut Val d'Alzette in the northern Lorraine region. To pursue the cultural and tourist development of our border region, it was agreed to look for ways and means to perpetuate this exemplary cooperation in order to follow up the framework partnership agreement currently in force can be continued. In addition, a reflection day with stakeholders will be organised in autumn 2023 so that cross-border cultural actors can consolidate a long-term roadmap.

The Intergovernmental Conference was informed about the establishment of functional areas in the framework of the Interreg Greater Region Programme 2021-2027. Functional areas are an innovative and important tool for the implementation of local development strategies and for strengthening cross-border planning. Thus, the Intergovernmental Conference takes note of the establishment of a functional area on the territory of the EGTC Alzette Belval and is studying the possibilities of setting up further functional areas on the French-Luxembourgish border.

In the field of internal security, both sides welcomed the progress made in the preparation and forthcoming signature of administrative arrangements setting out the modalities for the implementation of joint controls and patrols in railway stations and trains, as well as on cross-border roads and motorways, including the A31/A3. This is a useful step towards cross-border cooperation on internal security, allowing a more efficient joint action to tackle cross-border crime and common security challenges.

With the aim of further strengthening cooperation in this field, both sides have started work on deepening the legal framework for cross-border police and customs cooperation.

A review was presented following the first exercise of the border alert plan on 29 March 2023. It was also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of local security in view of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Aware of the importance of the cross-border challenges, both sides have committed to carrying out a precise and regular follow-up of the implementation of the conclusions adopted by this seventh Commission. The eighth session of the Intergovernmental Commission will take place in Luxembourg in 2024.

Press release by the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Government of the French Republic

Last update