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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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Hospital of Cerdanya

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The Hospital of Cerdanya (officially Hospital de Cerdanya – Hôpital de Cerdagne) is conceived as the first cross-border hospital in Europe. It represents an essential health-care facility for the 33 000 inhabitants of the Cerdanya valley, a cross-border micro-region located in the Eastern Pyrenees with a long trajectory in local cross-border cooperation. This territory is administratively split into two parts: the Upper Cerdanya (Occitanie Region, France) and Lower Cerdanya (autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain) which share a small plateau of 200 km2, unique in the Pyrenean Region.

Historically, the Upper Cerdanya population lacks appropriate health-care facilities, which were instead located either 60 kilometres from the valley in Prades, or 100 kilometres away in Perpignan. The closer hospital was in the border municipality of Puigcerdà in Lower Cerdanya. Despite the geographical proximity, cross-border flows to the Puigcerdà hospital were scarce, mainly due to the lack of a Spanish-French general agreement on cross-border health issues before 2008, as well as the negative perception on the Spanish healthcare system. However, when the road connection between Upper Cerdanya and Prades was cut due to adverse weather conditions in 1996 and 2001, the Puigcerda hospital assisted several patients from the French side. Such events presented the opportunity for changing these perceptions.

In 2001, local and regional authorities considered the idea of a new joint hospital in Puigcerdà. In 2003, the regional administrations, together with their respective healthcare agencies, signed the first cross-border cooperation agreement. The feasibility study, funded in...

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