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


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 Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR)



The Baltic Region is chronologically the first of the four European Union (EU) macro-regions. Founded in 2009, it has often been described as a laboratory for transnational governance or a source of inspiration for future initiatives. It has also contributed to the evolution and generalization of the macro-regional tool since Danuta Hübner, then Commissioner for Regional Policy, participated in the dissemination of the concept of “macro-region” in 2008, using it regularly in several communications, documents and internal notes. The configuration of the Baltic space echoes the ideal of cohesion pursued by the EU since the mid-1990s. The area has significant territorial disparities (existence of northern sparsely populated margins but also a core, called the Baltic Blue Banana, composed of a strip joining the main metropolises from Hamburg to Helsinki, with Copenhagen and Stockholm), common challenges, specific geographical features around an eponymous sea, potential interfaces offered at the eastern border of the EU. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the public bodies of the bordering countries and the European institutions have transformed the Baltic Sea in a performative space: in nominating it systematically and presenting it as obvious, they made its existence achievable for all the actors. The Baltic Sea macro-region combines both a large amount of umbrella structures that must be channelled, and strong strategic issues requiring urgent solutions and transnational coordination of spatial management: risk of a biological death of the sea, incompatibility of transport and energy networks between the two former blocks, multi-level marine...

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