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Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration

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Edited By Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel

This Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration is the first encyclopaedia which combines two so far not well interconnected interdisciplinary research fields, i.e. Border Studies and European Studies. Organised in an alphabetical order, it contains 207 articles written by 115 authors from different countries and scientific disciplines which are accompanied by 58 maps. The articles deal with theory, terminology, concepts, actors, themes and spaces of neighbourhood relations at European borders and in borderlands of and around the European Union (EU). Taking into account a multi-scale perspective from the local to the global, the Critical Dictionary follows a combined historical-geographical approach and is co-directed by Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel, with a large contribution of Jean Peyrony and Jean Rubio from the Mission opérationnelle transfrontalère (MOT), especially for the cartography. The Dictionary is also part of four Jean Monnet activities supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union for the period 2016-2022: two Jean Monnet projects on EU border regions (University Strasbourg), one Jean Monnet network (Frontem) and the Franco-German Jean Monnet excellence Center in Strasbourg, as well as the Jean Monnet Chair of Bernard Reitel on borders and European integration. Rather than being designed as an objective compilation of facts and figures, it should serve as a critical tool for discussion between researchers, students and practitioners working in the field of borders, cross-border cooperation and European Integration.

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Euroregion Krušnohoří/Erzgebirge

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The mountains of Krušnohoří /Erzgebirge, dividing since 9th century Czech and Saxon territory, gave a name to this cooperation. The territory of the Euroregion covers 4733 km2, with the Czech part being insignificantly bigger. There are around 720 000 inhabitants – 55 % of which live in two districts; Kreis in Germany and Czechia. It has polycentric urban organization with no dominant metropolis. The Czech part of the region was exploited for its heavy industry during the whole of the communist period and is among the most polluted parts of Europe mainly due to extensive brown-coal mining.

People who lived in Czech-German border areas spoke German until 1945 when the German-speaking population was expelled from Czechoslovakia and the territory was resettled by people from other parts of the country. These changes created a territory with two languages after World War II and where the spirit of non-cooperation on regional level prevailed. Although both countries belonged to the communist bloc, the borders were a barrier and could have been qualified as coexistent borders, where the border functions primarily to filter transborder flows while the parties maintain contact and cooperate when required to solve common problems.

The bilateral Czech-German Euroregion was established in 1993 and was one of the first Euroregions with participation of Czech actors. It belongs among the first cooperation entities created by the regions from both countries of the “old” European Union (EU) and post-Soviet bloc – although the Saxon part of newly created...

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