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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 Nisa-Nysa-Neisse

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In 1991, the trilateral cross-border co-operation on Czech-Polish-German borders was one of the first cooperation entities created between countries from western and eastern Europe – although the German part of newly created Euroregion Nisa-Nysa-Neisse belonged to the former German Democratic Republic. Its creation was symbolic, as it represented the first experience with the cross-border co-operation under the Euroregion umbrella for both former communist countries Poland and Czechoslovakia. The territory of Euroregion covers 12 956 km2 and there are around 1 560 000 inhabitants living in 376 municipalities of the Euroregion. The distribution of inhabitants is rather equal with around 560 000 inhabitants on both the German and Polish side and some 440 000 on the smallest Czech side. It represents a polycentric urban organization with no dominant metropolis.

The whole territory of the Euroregion had been for a long time inhabited by a German speaking population, which was expelled from Poland and Czechoslovakia. The territory was then resettled by Slavic speaking newcomers. These changes created a territory with three languages after World War II, where the spirit of non-cooperation on regional level prevailed, although all these countries belonged to the communist bloc.

The members of the Euroregion are mainly municipalities of the Czech side, municipalities and districts of the Polish side and two districts (Landkreise) on the German side. The Euroregion is created by three independent entities, bearing the legal form of association of municipalities (Czech side), municipalities and districts (Polish side) and two districts...

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