‘At Work’, is a relative concept If one is a researcher and able to work from home. If ‘at Work’ is the institution I work for, ‘at work’ is: The Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility of Maastricht University.
Maastricht University (MU) describes itself as the “most international university in the Netherlands”. It has nearly 22,000 students and 4,400 employees. The university distinguishes itself with its innovative problem-based education model, its international and EUregional character and approach to research and education. Its campus in the Dutch Limburg border town of Maastricht campus is continually developing and evolving beyond the borders of Maastricht into te Euregion Meuse-Rhine.
The Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) operates at the convergence of research, counselling, knowledge exchange, and training activities in the domain of cross-border mobility and cooperation. The countries of the European Union are confronted with great challenges following the increasing globalisation of the economy and the internationalisation of the current and future society. ITEM is an interdisciplinary institute which was initiated by Maastricht University (UM) in cooperation with Zuyd Hogeschool, NEIMED, the (Dutch) province of Limburg, the city of Maastricht and the Meuse-Rhine Euregion. ITEM is more of a transformative interdisciplinary and transnational idea than it is a ‘working place’. In ITEM we want to facilitate knowledge creation by offering new insights and understandings on cross border governance and to translate our research outcomes into solution oriented and actionable proposals for policy purposes and public appreciation. At ITEM we have a common interested in exploring the socio-political and normative dynamics of cross border issues such as security and crime control, migration and mobility, health and environment. I am responsible for leading academic research as one of ITEM’s 4 core tasks. Drawing on a strong track record in cross-border research ITEM produces evidence based border effect reports that inform the EU as and national, regional and local governments. It’s long-standing commitment to research that has positive impacts on cross border society and communities is well known. ITEMs distinctive approach is the combination of producing research based evidence for informing public and policy makers, and advocating for change, It is a truly inter-disciplinary institute: by drawing from academic disciplines, knowledge and skills across the social sciences and beyond, we tackle many of the most critical and sensitive contemporary challenges facing cross border societies. Our reputation for working holistically and unfettered by disciplinary and other boundaries has already impact on policies and real-life situations.