Visiting Fellowship

October 24, 2016 · by · in

During this visit, Dr. Burlacu worked on a followup project that we developed at CBS co-jointly with ITEM, called “Study on Cross-Border Workers’ Income Implications in Limburg: Social, Fiscal Policy and Rules for X-Border Workers (NL-BE-DE) in Limburg, Belgium and Germany“. The proposed project relies on Burlacu & O’Donoghue (2014) methodology (PhD thesis project, MGSoG/UNU-MERIT/ITEM, FNR grant number 1096501). A seminar/presentation was held at CPS to discuss the application of EUROMOD micro-simulation programme in the context of free movement for work, with relevance for cross-border work.

The mentioned above project consists in setting up a methodological framework that would exhaustively register and monitor the fiscal and social security legal changes regarding cross-border workers (with ITEM) on one hand and it would build a statistical framework to collect and analyse the beneficiaries and tax payers of these programs (with CBS). This is an original and of practical use project addressed to cross-border workers and policy makers in the area (also, with applicability to cross-border companies). It currently awaits for its financial support for further advancement. 

Prior to this stay, Irina Burlacu also attended the EUROMOD Summer School of application of hypothetical data, organized as well by CPS. 

  visiting

EU XBorder 2015 Review & Welkom 2016.

More than one third of the European Union’s citizens live and work in Europe’s border regions.  Cross-Border Regions (CBR) play a crucial role in local (and in some cases in national) economies in most of the EU’s countries. Last year, the cooperation at the borders of the Member States has been intensively discussed and set as a high priority of EU’s policy agenda. As the “Refugee Crisis” unfolded and Paris terrorist attack took place, it became a topic of even higher importance. As a consequence, in 2016, for the first time in the history of the European Union, the European officials consider the option and are under the pressure of cancelling the Schengen Agreement (free movement).

Snapshots: 2015

It is difficult to summarize the efforts of thousands of people working in this area, but some highlights that I find interesting are the following.

I will start by mentioning about the most important event in my view that took place at the regional level, namely in the Netherlands, more precisely in South of Holland- Limburg – Maastricht was launched Netherland’s largest probably cross-border research organization: ITEM. With the great support from the local Province of Limburg, Maastricht University’s Institute for Transnational and European Cooperation Mobility is reminding to policy makers about the importance of existence of research infrastructures for the regional development. The lack of data or limited studies on mobile workers often impedes policy makers to make evidence-based decisions.

2015 was a promising year for Cross-Border Regions in the EU. During the Luxembourgish EU Presidency, cross-border cooperation gained a lot of momentum and was discussed as a key component of Regional development on EU policy agenda (for example). The celebration of the 25 Years Anniversary of the largest European Territorial Cooperation (the INTERREG programs) in November, discussed among other things (topics that particularly draw my attention):

  • Refugee crisis, the first and foremost danger in endangering the entire free movement principle based on which the EU is based;
  • Lack or poor data;
  • Need for broadening and strengthening cross-border cooperation outside EU countries.

Ironically, while in Brussels the EU representatives and all gathered at the Conference on “The Future of Cross-Border Regions” and were showing great concern about the shattering impact of Refugee Crisis on border cooperation efforts.. the terrorist Paris attack took place in the same day and France had to close its borders. Ironically again, those who executed the attack where from Brussels.

Since the appearance of the nation states, the EU has tested the trust and build a space of free movement. Decades of negotiations and cooperation, a lot of investment in this direction takes place [For 2014-2020, more than EUR 10 billion will be invested in cooperation between regions, of which around €6.6 billion will go to cross-border regions. This should ensure maximum impact and even more effective use of the investments].

Commuting affects people’s health and welfare. Despite all the challenges EU faces at the moment, people cross borders everyday for work, if they are living at the frontier. It took more than 50 years… to establish a common legislative framework for all the Member States.

For all these efforts to collapse would mean.. a great need for creativity to find an alternative form of governance of current EU countries (that could be easily translated into a great regress).

2016: the year of Netherlands.

Netherlands is taking over the EU Presidency from January, 2016. The hopes are high and the challenges even higher.. As in many other times, I hope that this time Netherlands will once again impress the world with its geniality. It is known for its pioneering and original approaches to deal with ‘things’, often distinguished itself from the rest of the world.

Yet, the European Union is not about one country only, neither it would not exist without its borders and partners. The EU needs urgent international support in dealing with the Refugee Crisis. “If more states contribute, the burden will be more manageable for all” [Ostrand, 2015]

To conclude: Although incomparable, keeping strict borders remains for the rest of the world a reality.. and sometimes – a very cruel realityBorders are the pride and glory of the EU. The Manifesto of scientific community remains valid, show must go on..

europe__strong_together_by_jestemturk-d6v6ygy

 

The wondrous living in the European Union @ the border: Maastricht – Liege – Maastricht, NL-BE (2)

Being a cross-border worker is intense. First of all, not in all the cases, but very often one is exposed to different languages and that is not always so easy, yet very rewarding.

Studying Dutch in Maastricht, speaking French in Liege and working in English, while reading in Russian at nights and being a Romanian native speaker was not easy in this half of the year. I learned that instead of thinking of how difficult it is to switch from one language to another, if I get to pretend that a mono-lingual world simply does not exist and the only reality is where one gets to speak more languages everyday, then there is nothing to complain about… Eating extra nuts and chocolate to fuel my brain and keep on going, is just as fine. I thought to quit reading in Russian when it became almost impossible, but after a break and reading this… I changed my mind.

After all, hearing French everyday is like a poetry. Understanding finally some Dutch is like winning a dog race prize for me, because somehow I got to learn it not so fast. Finally, keeping the beauty of your own language and things you get to learn through other languages is getting in touch with your inner self and helps creating everytime a new you.

Last thing, my colleagues from Liege introduced me to some Liege dialect, to learn about Brussels and other language dialects and particularities in Belgium: check.

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Sart-Tilman, University of Liege (backyard/forest)

Second of all, commuting time – what a great opportunity to reflect in the train and to get tired (too much reflection?). Living in Maastricht, one gets to be extremely spoiled with commuting distances. If you get to bike for more then 15 minutes, that’s already considered far. Many of my friends who left Maastricht and work in big cities of the world and have to wait daily only at the traffic lights more than 20 minutes, not to mention the commuting times, reconfirm me one more time: there is no better place to commute than commuting in Maastricht 🙂

Commuting is one of the most frequently used indicators to measure the impact of cross-border work on income and there is a wide range of studies on that. Mobility for work in the European Union is widely analyzed using European Labour Force Survey, however “due to small number of annual cross-border moves makes it problematic to use them for showing detailed and statistically reliable breakdowns by country cross-border mobility” (Bonin H. et al., 2008). According to Bonin et al. (2008), some older statistics show that cross-border commuting rates between United States federal states was about 3.7 percent of the population, while this indicator was in 2008 of only 0.2 percent in the European Union..

Being a cross-border worker means to be part of two worlds simultaneously. As a researcher,  who previously worked for Maastricht University and now working for Liege University, I get to learn from very talented and motivated colleagues from both universities. I still go like home to my host university – Maastricht School of Governance and United Nations University/Merit to celebrate various occasions and greet my former colleagues. Also, I am welcomed at Liege University. I get to scan through university-newspapers from both sides

University newspaper

 University of Maastricht           University of Liege

Being a cross-border worker is a great opportunity (which offered me a job that I could not find in Maastricht at that time) and socially  enriching experience, yet, is quite time consuming – I still did not manage to visit Liege Opera House and Theatre and to actually go for a walk downtown 🙂 I hope to do so in 2016!

p.s. I always knew I live some spectacular time of changes in the area where I live, but to see something like this at present times, without no treaties or pacts of peace.. confirms, I live history. everyday in the fairy land of Limburg.

More from Objectif:

____________

Bonin, H., Eichhorst, W., Florman, C., Okkels Hansen, M., Skiöld, L., Stuhler, J., Tatsiramos, K., Thomasen, H. and Zim­mermann, K. F. (2008), ‘Geographic Mobility in the Euro­pean Union: Optimising its Social and Economic Benefits Report’, Contract VT/2006/042, European Commission DG.

 

The wondrous living in the European Union @the border: Maastricht – Liege – Maastricht, NL-BE (1)

I am commuting to Liege for work. I will mention somewhere else about how efficient and prompt the University of Liege staff seems to be since I started, but for now I would like to share some thoughts on my cross-border work experience. Finally, it happened! After five years of researching cross-border work, I am also a cross-border worker.

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Starting with a reality check of “local particularities” aka. public transport tariffs and regulations. In Maastricht it makes a difference of 3.5 Euros if you buy a ticket from the ticket machine or ticket office. One would think that buying a retour ticket to Liege from Maastricht is the same as you buy a ticket to Maastricht from Liege, no. The price to go to Liege from Maastricht is 6.80 Euros, but to come back from Liege in Maastricht is 5.30 Euros (and one does not have to pay an extra 3.5 Euros for buy an international ticket at the ticket office!). Moreover, Foreigners – watch out if you buy the ticket in train it will cost you with 7 Euros more (even if this is Vise-Maastricht) it says somewhere with small letters in Dutch and French – but enough about prices, the ride from Liege to Maastricht needs to be described in words…

On the romantic train ride Maastricht – Liege – Maastricht

A short prelude – without criticizing, but rather mesmerizing – the ride from Liege to Maastricht can almost be described as romantic. Only with some exceptions during rush hour, the carriages given to transport people – who most of the times travel to Brussels Airport or like me, to work to Liege or maybe like others going to visit their grandparents in Vise- are as old as the Treaty of Rome. Most probably these originate from the ’50’s or even earlier, when iron became the trading and most used material among these countries (BeNeLux & Germany).

nmbs     SNCB_Maastricht

the old fashioned train                                             modern Belgian train

For clear reasons – to maintain a historical imprint of that era (or cut economic costs) both cross-border authorities have chosen to keep those trains to serve until rusty. The picture would have been fully idyllic, IF the Belgian railway would not sometimes go on strike throughout all the country. Often in the past at least, I would hear: “The Belgians did not send us the train this morning, so there is nothing we can do” (NS representative would say). And here you are – with your luggage ready to catch a flight from Brussels Airport rushing to grab a taxi (that will ‘only’ cost you.. 120 Euros?).

Be it, happy faces of Belgian people coming on Friday for shopping in beloved Maastricht or polite conductors asking your ticket in French or Dutch or some concerned zoned out faces (especially before the coffee-shops in Maastricht would be open to foreigners) due to various motives – in no time you will find yourself in Liege (40 minutes) while passing some ‘prettig’ Dutch green landscape and entering slowly into the industrial imprint left by old Liege. Here you are, in one of the first continental railways in Europe: Gare de Liege –  Guillemins, newly designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava.

1024px-View_on_liege-Guillemins_station

now let’s talk about buses 🙂

A ride in a bus in Liege – a must try on experience

One morning, when the conscious is not yet fully awakened, I entered a local bus in Maastricht and when sitting, I realized that my lack of smile or greeting to the bus driver and the people sitting in the bus actually made me feel uncomfortable. It was not the first time in the bus here in Maastricht when I almost felt compelled to greet or smile shortly as a sign of good manner or friendly South living style.

The buses and the bus drivers in Maastricht are probably the best I have ever encountered (this is only my experience), they wait for the passengers to take their time to sit down and then start their trip, they smile pretty much all the time and just everything that one would summarize in: “Because life in the South is always better”! 😉

So, I already knew about how spoiled we are in Maastricht, but I got to really appreciate this, when I got into a bus in Liege. Some say that in Italy they drive like crazy (I am sure it is not true, just some myths:)), but they would refer to scutters or private cars. Well, in Liege I think they do crazy-driving with buses. I tested about 3 lines of buses only, so I can be biased, but my advice: Wear your seat belt. Ops, but there is none. You are standing? Bad luck!

Moreover, nothing personal, but never, never ever you would see something like that in a Veolia bus. It does not look good and I am not sure how safe it is.

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(an outside oil or gas pipe)

Veolia is a French bus line circulating in Limburg. Apart from its safety and smooth driving, some are also equipped with a small rubbish bin for your apple rests, how cute  (no, I am not paid by Dutch transportation services marketing department). Ah, Veolia! 🙂

Foto650-RN3S4QUS

(to be continued)

The wondrous living in the European Union @ the border: Chamonix, France.

This post is about Recent Territorial Reforms in (some) EU countries

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe. One of its valleys – Chamonix – hosts one of the oldest ski resorts in France and in Europe! but this is not much discussed here…

Chamonix is at the border of 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland and it is probably not by coincidence a chosen location for the Annual Conference of one of the largest cross-border organizations in France, Mission Operationelle Transfrontaliere (MOT), 17-18th of June, 2015.

Although in the past the borderline that neighbours among the European Member States would be considered a handicap, in the words of the Member of the European Parliament Anne Sander (due to lack of knowledge on how to cope with differences in language and administrations), recently these are increasingly seen as an economic opportunity. The areas at the border between two or more countries are called Cross-Border Regions and about 1 million people work in these locations in the European Union. These individuals, called cross-border workers or frontier workers, commute daily/weekly or monthly between their home country and the neighbouring country for work.

Generally, labour mobility is low in the European Union, compared to US or Canada (0.2 vs. 3.2%, Bonin, 2008). Some statistics show that about 10 million EU citizens travel for work within the EU, out of which only up to 1 million are doing cross-border work.

France is an important key player in cross-border policies in Europe, with the highest number of cross-border workers in the EU. These are French residents who commute for work to Switzerland, Luxembourg or Germany and return back daily/weekly to France for living. More than 10 million French citizens in fact live around the border of their country. In times of financial difficulties, many choose to commute across borders (to Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany and a small rate to Lichtenstein). Yet this number is low and restricted to borders, comparatively to the entire country landscape.

So now, about the Territorial Reforms and Cross-border Regions:

Territorial reforms discussed here refer to a shift from central to regional or local administration. This transition in administrative power can affect not only how the things are done within a region, but also how much is spent and how. For example, the recent French territorial reform mostly consists from regions that are merged in order to reduce their number (from 22 to 13) that will allow French regions to function as independent bodies when it comes to decide upon regional business strategies, trainings and employment policies. This will provide with discretionary power to decide upon local and regional transportation. Including, social projects will be possible to be decided and run independently, such as: community planning, infrastructure and secondary education.

Its neighbour – Italy is also undergoing important reforms. The final adoption of series territorial changes such as administration of metropolitan cities and its current implementation will lead to a greater management of large cities such as: Rome, Milan, Naples, etc. 14 Metropolitan cities are created and will have the power to absorb the capacity of small towns around it and organize its activities in a more centralized around the metropolitan cities manner. Although such changes are not at regional level, these will impact local economies and some of these metropolitan cities are located close to the border (Milan, Turin, Venice).

Although territorial reforms seem to be related only with administrative organization of a region or part of the country, this impacts also how the politics work in that area. According to political science, such regional or ‘meso’ level of government can lead to devolution, by which territories can make their own legislation.

This is important because: when two countries negotiate an agreement on taxation or another topic, this does not always take place at the same level when it comes to CBR’s (e.g. ministry to ministry instead of ministry to regional administration).

Balancing balls on wooden board
Unequal administrative representation in administrative negotiations

For example, when it comes to Luxembourgish labour market formed of more than 40% of cross-border workers, when negotiating certain agreements (e.g. related to taxes) that regard these workers, Luxembourg is represented by the entire country due to its small size (ministerial level) and Belgium, as one of its neighbours for instance, is represented only by the area that neighbourg Luxembourg (province level).

Cross-border work gains increasing attention from policy makers due to its economic potential for local and sometimes national economy. A Dexia study identifies a global trend that aims to reinforce regions in the light of economic crisis, either by increasing competences and means of existing regions or by creating new regional levels. Only in Grand Region that consists of cross-border areas in Luxembourg, France, Germany and Belgium has been produced 2.5% of the European Union’s GDP.

“The real territorial reform is when the institutions in the regions will be able to have economic gains and will be able to calculate it” 

Creating a favorable climate for stronger cross-border cooperation to incentivize the economic activities with countries next door, rather than being accused of stealing jobs, can lead to better perspectives for both, the country from where cross-borders come and for the country where these go.

I would like to conclude by quoting the French deputy, currently senator Michel Delebarre (Blanc, Keller & Schmid, 2010): “The frontiers are laboratories, where Europe is invented day-by-day”.

The frontiers are good indicator of how well administrations are ready to face challenges from the external environments/borders. Sometimes, is difficult to define how far the borders are.. With recent events in the Middle East, the borders of the European Union have been shaken up and local economies of Italy for example have been severely damaged. This is why learning about the capacities of borders, collecting the necessary statistics and carrying ex-ante analysis can help policy makers to prevent or solve local, regional or even national problems.

Talking about external borders of the EU, at the conference I met great minds and developers of ideas on how to improve cross-border regions, of which Mr. Ibrahima Amadou Niang, who is working on a project that would result in building a bridge between Mali and Senegal and another bridge between Mali and Burkina Faso. This project was inspired by the cross-border bridge between Sweden and Denmark.

Cross-border cooperation in Europe – Inspires!

photo

Ibrahima Amadou Niang, Expert – Ingénieur en Développement Local et Projets de Cooperation and Irina Burlacu, Researcher, Maastricht University, Chamonix, 2015.

An exhaustive and formal summary of the MOT conference can be found here. Many asked me what did I presented at this event, unfortunately my participation was limited only to my presence, which is the case sometimes for certain events, when I am invited to attend or need to be there to gain more knowledge about a certain topic (researchers’ life:). In this case I gladly accepted the invitation of the MOT team to attend this event and aimed to become more familiar with the French cross-border landscape.

***

At last, I could not end this post without saying few words about… Chamonix does not need any introduction to the European hikers, it is also a little heaven of professional sport equipment. It well takes care of the treasures of Mont-Blanc and its people make sure to return the favour to the mountain with their kindness, politeness (I had to say n-times ‘Bonjour’ number per day) and taxes.

Mauro A. Fuentes Álvarez

!! Where else in the world do you take the telepherique from one country and in some minutes arrive on the mountain next door that belongs to another country without a visa or whatsoever? (e.g. telepherique from France to Italy: Augille de Midi to Helbronner). A view from Augille du Midi, the highest telepherique station in Europe is attached below. This year Chamonix celebrates 150 years of alpinism.

About: Irina is currently a cross-border worker herself, working in Belgium and residing in the Netherlands. She is a passionate promoter of what she calls “active research”, by which a researcher is a sort of a story-teller who can communicate her/his research in an accessible language and engaging way.

Photos from Chamonix:

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IMG_8532 IMG_8606

aiguilledumidi-zermatt-leotrippiIMG_8652

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Mauro A. Fuentes Álvarezstep-into-the-voidIMG_8439  IMG_8433 IMG_8948   img_89531.jpgwpid-homepage1865_benoist1

Cross-Border Regions: Priority on the Presidency of the Council of the European Union’s Agenda, 2015

Although, of crucial importance to local (and in some cases to national) economies in most of the EU Member States*, cross-border regions and work flow in this area does not often reach top discussions among the highest EU stakeholders, due to low number of mobile workers (e.g. compared to the US).

This year, cross-border regions are among the priorities of this year Council’s priorities, under the Luxembourgish Presidency that organized a workshop in this context. The purpose of this workshop was to explore the potentials of a political debate on the benefits of specific legal provisions in border regions, and of preparing such a political debate by critically assessing different options. The target audience of the workshop were policymakers, scientific researchers, and stakeholders from all sectors at the European, transnational, national, regional and local level.

The agenda can be found here. The workshop was divided into three main sessions. Session 1 dealt with the issues and rules hampering cross-border cooperation, where the Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT) presented the results of a survey on cross-border impediments and obstacles. Session 2 dealt with probably the most spread instrument to investigate developments in cross-border regions, that is the “Observation”. The need for empirical observation in support of planning for cross-border territories and took the form of a panel discussion. Session 3 consisted of thematic workshops addressing different sectors (Spatial planning, mobility, environment b) Labour market, economy, innovation, c) Health care, social affairs, education).

One of the largest cross-border organizations in the European Union, Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT, France) was invited to prepare a report on the basis of their survey and the conclusions of the workshop. It is this report that will serve as an input paper for the political process under the Luxembourgish Presidency and will be made available on this website in July 2015. * For example, cross-border territories in between 4 countries of Grand Region (France, Belgium, Germanyand Luxembourg) produce 2.5% of EU’s national GDP.

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Some efforts in building a stronger social Europe to be reminded

The results of May’s elections (2014) show a high rise of far-right parties across Europe. One of the strongest principles associated with such parties is their strong focus on anti-immigration policies.

The video contains a story of a civil servant who was in charge of social policy/benefits at the Inspectorate of Social Security of Luxembourg (IGSS) back in the 1954/55. Mr. Bernard shares his experience as an inspector for social benefits for frontier workers from Belgium and France.

The Video can be found here:

*Acknowledgements go to Rene Bertrand and to Mr. Raymond Wagener (IGSS, Luxembourg)

** the registration was made by Irina Burlacu in Luxembourg, Luxembourg in April, (2010) and took place with the courtesy of Ioana Salagean, who assisted with translation from English to French and French to English.

The story is a reminder that it is not the time to turn the clock back. In the 50’s, after the II-nd World War, there were hardly any common laws existing in the area of mobility and migration of European citizens. Moreover, no common EU regulation existed to protect European mobile workers and their families to manage social benefits of EU workers who worked in different Member States. Countries would sign separate bi-lateral Social Security Agreements, which were the only policy and legal instrument that administrations could rely on when deciding the amounts and conditions of benefits.

It took more than 50 years to establish a common legislative framework for all the Member States in the area of free movement for work and coordination of social security administrations that would insure individuals who worked in more EU countries to get their pension or unemployment benefits on time.

The negotiations of such agreements were not an easy task. Amis Bernard (2010) mentioned in his interview that in the 50s’, the translation services were not provided to civil servants, like in ourdays. A civil servant would have to learn the language of the country with which its government would sign the agreement first and then participate and lead into negotiations of the conditions of the agreements. Learning the language and the organization culture in order to understand the provisions in the agreement and then proceed to negotiations was very were time-consuming, complex to explain and administer, and generally existed only between countries with similar system provisions.

The “age of migration” (Castles, 2009), an increasing number of individuals contribute to one or more states where they do not necessarily reside or permanently live. Exploring new, creative approaches in how to better maximize the massive labour skills fluctuations and match them among the Member States could provide a more inclusive and sound answer for national economies than going backwards to protective. Few policy recommendations are offered here: Manifesto.

To tell now all migrants to go home would be like asking for a reversed rhythm of globalization.

About Maastricht [in Romanian]

Maastricht, orașul-capitală a sudului Olandei (regiunea denumită “Limburg”), este cunoscut în primul rând probabil ca locația unde a fost semnat tratatul care stă la fondarea Uniunii Europene: Tratatul de la Maastricht, (1992).

Locația: Guvernul local, Limburg

Faima sa este asociată în ultimii ani și cu locul de origine a unui dintre cei mai renumiți dirijori contemporani, Andre Rieu.

Locația: Vrijthof, squarul central

Posibil din cauza că orașul e misterios pe alocuri (fie te primește cu brațele deschise prin locațiile sale pitorești, micile buticuri, baruri ecletice sau te respinge sub pretextul: sunt mic și plictisitor, nu ai nimic ce sa faci aici), localnicii i-au desemnat si un Spirit al său (poza pe stinga). Simbolul orasului consta dintr-o stea roșie (la prima vedere sovietică) similară cu cea din poza de mai jos.

sursă: internet.

Toată lumea (bi)ciclează și în mediu parcurg distanțe de la 5 până la 20 minute pentru a ajunge la serviciu sau alte destinații (ex. universitate, spital, companie).. realitate “dură” J

În acești ani am avut ocazia să detest, să indragesc și să iubesc acest orașel la nebunie.. Deci, pornind la drum

Ce poți face ziua:

De la plimbări prin oraș, până la plimbări în grote/peșteri, Maastricht-ul de zi e foarte activ.

Puteți începe cu activitatea preferată a francezilor, belgienilor și nemților care locuiesc la hotar si vin în week-end la Maastricht  pentru a face – shopping. Ceea ce nu presupune neapărat să cheltuiți, dar să hoinăriți prin buticurile pline de artă și tot felul de piese artizanale, vă poate face doar bine..

Vorbind de artă și cumpărături, Maastricht găzduiește anual (în martie) unul din cele mai mari târguri de piese de artă din lume, TEFAF.

Scuarul principal “Vrijthof”

Sursa: internet

.. găzduiește în iulie concertele lui Andre Rieu..: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWH3Hmsr5fM

Un local care merită de vizitat fiind in centrul orasului este această biserică catolică, care de un deceniu sau mai mult a fost transformată în magazin de cărți…unde puteți savura o cafeluță inclusiv.

Sau o cafeluță puteți experimenta în Biserica transformată în hotel..cel mai scump din oraș (cafea la preț standard).

Maastricht este un oraș medieval, pentru amatori, ruinele medievale ale orașului: http://www.holland.com/global/tourism/article/maastricht-walking-tours.htm

Dacă dispuneți de mai mult timp și chef, o plimbare în parc direcția Sint Pieterberg este una oportunită, în drum puteți să îl salutați pe D Artagnan, care ar fi murit la Maastricht, iar în scurt timp vă puteți afla pe dealul de la Sint Pieters. De aici recomand vizita pesterelor Casemate, altfel denumite, unde puteti gasi scene incrustate in piatra a vizitei lui Napoleon la Maastricht.

Într-un final, pentru amatori, recomand să prindeți lumina de zi pentru a face poze calitative și a cuprinde frumusețea orașului medieval… Maastricht perfect pentru photoshooting!

Viața nocturnă nu e atit de pitorească, precum mi-aș fi droit. În vară au loc tot felul de festivaluri și concerte, inclusiv petreceri pe apă, fun. Recomand Carnavalul din Februarie, pentru care localnicii își pregătesc cu un an înainte costumația pentru competiție și distracție.

Must-try experience:

  • Concert Andre Rieu in Vrithof
  • TEFAF world leading art fair
  • Running tours prin oras
  • Boat tours pina in Belgia si inapoi
  • Caves unde a trecut si Napoleon
  • Fresh bakery

Când aveți ocazia, vizitați cel mai vechi oraș din Olanda, e frumos aici..

Alte surse:

Despre Maastricht în New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/travel/12Next-Maastricht.html

Primăria ne povestește despre originile orașului:

http://www.vvvmaastricht.nl/maastricht/historie.html

Sugestii de călătorii scurte pe jos:                  http://www.holland.com/global/tourism/article/maastricht-walking-tours.htm

Pagina orașului pe FB: https://www.facebook.com/Mtricht.Maastricht.UniverCity?fref=photo