Removing barriers to labour mobility is expected to contribute to processes of spatial integration in cross-border regions, by an efficient allocation of labour and consequently a convergence between territories separated by a common border. Nevertheless, despite the de-bordering process within the European Union, administrative, legal and language barriers still hamper cross-border labour mobility, preventing the process of labour market integration. The aim of this paper is to identify obstacles to the mobility of cross-border workers commuting within the Euroregion Galicia–Norte de Portugal. The methodology employed combines the analysis of official data on labour mobility with qualitative data gathered from interviews with cross-border commuters, aimed at finding explanations for the different attitudes towards cross-border mobility inside this Euroregion. While traditional push and pull factors remain relevant in explaining cross-border labour flows, the qualitative information offers new insights into different levels of indifference from cross-border workers. The result is a fragmented labour market where Norte de Portugal is providing low-qualified, low-wage labour, whereas Galicia is contributing with well-paid, qualified labour.
- labour mobility
- drivers and barriers
- Euroregion Galicia-Norte Portugal