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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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Euroscepticism in Cross-Border Regions

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The European Territorial Cooperation Policy finds its roots in a desire shared by political leaders after the Second World War to overcome the wounds of history and to help to bring societies closer together. To accomplish this aim, the strategy has been to progressively dismantle the obstacles to interaction that borders engender, based on the idea that cross-border flows are drivers of stability, prosperity, and unity. Exchanges have boomed, driven by the numerous opportunities offered in the context of “de-bordering”. However, while cross-border cooperation initiatives are numerous, the counter phenomenon of Euroscepticism took shape and progressively gained momentum, especially after the results of the referenda on the ratification of the European Constitutional Treaty that took place in France and in the Netherlands in 2005. Euroscepticism is a contested notion, generally defined more as a discourse than an ideology. It encompasses a wide range of potential attitudes, from principled opposition to the European Union (EU) and European integration, to a dissatisfaction with core EU policies.

Hans-Jörg Trenz and Pieter De Wilde define Euroscepticism as, “an expression of reactive identities towards European integration.” The reluctance towards the European project has been observable since the summit of the Hague in 1948 and the opposition between unionists, in favour of intergovernmental cooperation, and federalists, in favour of the establishment of a European Federation at a supranational scale. However, expressions of Euroscepticism, such as those which appeared in the 1980s in the UK, expanded rapidly, particularly following criticisms of the...

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