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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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EU Strategy for the Alpine Macro-Region (EUSALP)

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The EU Strategy for the Alpine Macro-Region (EUSALP) was launched in 2016: it aims to address so-called common challenges in order to support territorial cohesion. The governance system comprises three pillars and nine action groups that address, amongst others, economic development, climate change, energy challenges and transport/transit issues. The 48 regions (of the 7 participating nation states) play a strong role in this setting.

The EUSALP covers an area that is already characterized by a strong “institutional thickness” of territorial cooperation on different levels. The Lake Constance Conference and the High Rhine Commission are ←464 | 465→examples for the first wave of cooperation that were of intergovernmental and rather sectoral character in the beginning. Others had a more general focus and allow “high politics” on the regional level. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) ALP is the most prominent example. Many of the younger cooperation formats can be traced back to EU policies, in particular the Euregios whose main focus lies in the implementation of cross-border cooperation programs, including the prominent European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation of Tyrol, Southern Tyrol and Trentino.

There are few regions in Europe that show a comparable institutional diversity and density of cooperation frameworks. There are several reasons for this situation:

Firstly, the Alpine region is historically characterized by many borders. There has never been an Alpine state or a united political institution. For a long time, the (mountainous) fringes and peripheries of larger states met in the...

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