Edited By Joachim Beck
In the context of European integration, cross-border cooperation has become increasingly important. Following both the quantitative and qualitative expansion of this policy-field, it has repeatedly been the subject of scientific analysis in the past. However, as a result of the classical differentiation of the scientific system, it was mostly viewed from a monodisciplinary perspective. This publication aims at the foundation of a trans-disciplinary research approach in the field of European cross-border cooperation. It takes the multi-dimensional reality of practical territorial cooperation in Europe as a starting point and develops a transdisciplinary scientific approach. Based on a common analytic frame of reference, practical patterns of cross-border policy-making in different European border regions are analyzed from the integrated theoretical perspectives of various scientific disciplines: Political Science, Geography, Sociology, History, Law, Cultural Sciences and Socio-Linguistics, Economics and Administrative Science. The scientific conceptualizations are expanded by reports from practitioners coming from different institutional and functional levels of European cross-border policy-making.
Challenges of cross-border cooperation from a practical perspective: people-to-people projects as Europe-building tool (Pavel Branda / Hynek Böhm)
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Challenges of cross-border cooperation from a practical perspective: people-to-people projects as Europe-building tool
Pavel BRANDA, Hynek BÖHM
Border areas can be described as very colourful territories, as they have been an intersection of various interethnic and cultural influences. Historical consequences and different processes have formed these areas differently than those in the metropolitan or mainland areas. Groups with various traditions, systems of values, different languages and dialects meet and interact in the borderlands (Kantor, 1989, pp. 243-244). Borderlands were moreover often areas of conflicts of various actors, led by different and often competing interests. On the other hand, borderlands create the opportunity for fostering openness, respect and understanding for others, enabling building positive relationships overcoming differences. Borderlands teach coexistence on the basis of partnership, not a subordination (Róg, 2001, pp. 21-40). These are the principles valued and shared also by the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR).
A special role in these regional cooperations is played by a different kind of structures such as euroregions, eurodistricts, European Groupings of Territorial Co-operation (EGTC) or working groups without more profound institutionalisation. These structures can take very different forms, which depend on the degree of homogeneity of the region, its development, status, location along the borders of the Community etc. Their scope can range from the arrangements for co-operation between local and regional authorities of two or more countries, aimed at the realization of common interests and improving...
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