France occupies first place in the European ranking of countries with the most cross-border workers. Their main places of work are in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Monaco.
In France, around 483,000 people regularly travel to a neighboring country for work. France easily takes first place with this figure, followed by Germany with 270,000 cross-border workers and Poland with 230,000.
According to Aurélien Biscaut from Cross-border Operational Mission (MOT), an association created by the French government to defend the interests of cross-border territories at European level, this classification is due to “multiple factors”.
French border workers are spread throughout the country. Three countries stand out as their destinations: Switzerland, Luxembourg and Monaco. The Swiss cantons attract around 200,000 cross-border workers, the Grand Duchy 105,000. For the Principality 41,700, which is roughly as much as Belgium and Germany, but for a much smaller area. Towards Italy and Spain, the flow is reduced to a few thousand.
The data allows us to establish commonalities between the main destinations. Biscaut explains that these are countries “with a functional system that attracts frontier workers”. In addition to offering higher salaries than in France, they offer interesting jobs. “The conditions, particularly tax, are attractive. This allows large international companies to set up there,” says Biscaut.
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The level of training also explains “France’s competitiveness”. The country “exports” employees to meet the needs of neighboring countries, such as nurses hired in Luxembourg. In addition, there are “territorial specifications, including certain industries which are still operational abroad but which have disappeared in France”, Biscaut assesses and cites the example of the watch industry in Switzerland, which employs many people. of the Francs-Comté region for a long time, the steel industry in Luxembourg.
To a lesser extent, the expert also observes a trend at the border of the Grand Duchy: “For Luxembourgers, France is an attractive place to settle as residents. Some people settle and cross the border all the days to work “.
For the MOT, all the reasons for the mobility of French workers illustrate the importance of “cooperation” and “co-development” for the various countries in a cross-border area. “A border is not a line, but a space”, concludes Biscaut.