The measurement of the transboundary impact in Slovakia and Hungary. The experiences of an empirical study.

Every year, the European Union spends millions of euros for promoting cross-border cooperation among its member states. The efficiency of these expenditures is measured by indicators. Typical examples for such indicators are: Has the number of enterprises increased in the region? Has employment increased along the border? Have there been created any new workplaces in the region? Has the project promoted diversity and equal opportunities? Are there at least two women in the
project management staff? We argue that the indicators required by the eu are suitable for the measurement of the efficiency of funds spent on cross-border cooperation. In most of the social and economic dimensions, they fail to assess direct impacts of cross-border cooperation projects. A new methodology is required for the determination of the direct social impact of the eu CbC programs. The paper suggests measuring the direct social impact of these programs by indicators based on mental mapping, assessment of language skills and a position generator measure of social capital. The pilot research has been carried out on four locations along the Hungarian–slovakian border: in Esztergom, Štúrovo, Mosonmagyaróvár and Šamorín. Representative samples of 125 persons per location have been drawn and interviewed using paper-based questionnaires in all selected locations. The pilot study has proved that the proposed methodology based on multiple measures is suitable for measuring the respondents’ connectedness to the neighbouring country. The results show that the respondents in Štúrovo and esztergom have a much stronger relationship with the neighbouring country than the other two samples, and they also highlight the importance of the
Hungarian community in slovakia in cross-border movement.