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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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Aachen Treaty

The Franco-German Friendship or Elysée Treaty, signed on 22 January 1963 by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and President Charles de Gaulle, underpinned the Franco-German reconciliation process. It had been initiated as an important step towards a strengthened intergovernmental cooperation between the two states, but its originality resided in that part of the treaty which provided for the fostering of encounters between the French and the German population. Thus, the Elysée Treaty has allowed for many Franco-German exchange programs, the creation of a Franco-German Youth Center, (the Office Franco-Allemand pour la Jeunesse (OFAJ)) in 1963, of a Franco-German Television Channel (ARTE) in 1991 and of a joint High School Diploma, the AbiBac, in 1994. Although the treaty has also led to an increased cooperation of the two states in many policy areas and the constitution of the so-called Franco-German couple within the European Community/EU, its main success has undoubtedly been the bottom-up approach to reconciliation involving the French and the German citizens and fostering relations not only between representatives of the two governments, but also between the populations of the two countries.

However, this bottom-up approach did not include an association of cross-border actors or governance structures and especially local and regional public authorities have been left out in the bilateral relations regulated by the Elysée Treaty. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that cross-border cooperation has only started in 1963 at the Franco-German border, first in...

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