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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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Interregional Cooperation

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Territorial cooperation between cross-border regions is a cornerstone of a united Europe, bringing it closer to its citizens. Nonetheless, not all 295 European regions (281 Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) 2 regions in the European Union (EU), 7 in Norway and 7 in Switzerland) border on another country and can take part in cross-border cooperation and policy exchanges.

More regions can work together in larger transnational areas such as the Baltic Sea, the Alps or the Mediterranean; however, only in Interreg Europe, the interregional cooperation program, public authorities from all European regions can take part. Local, regional, and national public authorities work on improving their policies in the quest for their citizens wellbeing. Interreg Europe is an accelerator for regional development which can allow for opportunities to work within pan-European network of experts, exchange experience and learn what works best in terms of policies and approaches.

Interreg Europe aims at improving the performance of regional development policies and programs through policy learning and capacity building in all relevant organizations. It does this in two ways: Policy makers can work together in a multiannual project and each can also benefit from thematic expert services offered by the program’s Policy Learning Platform. In a project, policy makers take up to three years to exchange experience and share best practices in order to develop an action plan for their region. They share their experiences with partners from other European regions and local stakeholders who are...

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