The authors argue that cross-border territories require not only an integrated approach to development, but also a form of cross-border governance that is democratic and pursues a multi-stage strategy in order to ensure accountability towards citizens and socio-economic actors and make certain that they are acknowledged and receive support at a regional and national level. At present, relevant statistical indices are lacking for most cross-border territories. Such indices are essential, however, for establishing a shared body of regional knowledge as a basis for developing joint policies and activities. Shared border areas presuppose that development takes place on both sides in order to overcome the negative effects of borders, to fully exploit the potential arising from the development of projects, and to address the needs of the inhabitants.
This article examines the part played by spatial information in the planning of cross-border areas. It examines the concept of “cross-border territory”, shows the diverse criteria applied in European regional planning as exemplified in the border region of France and Luxemburg, and considers which tools are available—from the standpoint of multi-level governance—for this purpose. Ultimately, it is a question of addressing the needs, challenges and potential offered by spatial information in a cross-border context.