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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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France, one of the founder members of the European Community, covers an area of 665 000 km2, of which Metropolitan France accounts for 552 000 km2, and is therefore the largest country in the EU. It has land borders with 13 countries, 9 of which neighbour Metropolitan France, namely: Belgium (620 km), Luxembourg (73 km), Germany (451 km) and Switzerland (573 km), Italy (513 km) and Spain (623 km). France also shares two borders with micro-states, namely: Monaco (4.4 km) and Andorra (56.6 km). The Treaty of Canterbury signed on 12 February 1986 changed the maritime border between France and the United Kingdom to a land border, which has been crossed by road and ←479 | 480→rail traffic since the Channel Tunnel opened in 1994. The particularity of France is that, due to its Overseas Departments and Territories inherited from the colonial past, its longest border is actually situated outside Europe: the 730 km border with Brazil. It also has a 510 km border with Suriname in French Guiana and borders with Canada on Green Island, close to the archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and the Netherlands on Saint Martin in the Antilles. Finally, France also shares maritime borders with Oceania, Africa and America.

The history of France’s borders is undeniably linked to the long history of continental Europe. France played an important role in the 19th century, by disseminating ideas born out of the French Revolution in 1789, which stirred up a...

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