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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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Mission opérationnelle transfrontalière (MOT)

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In the early 1990’s, after the launching of the Interreg initiative, initial experiences showed the difficulties local players were facing to carry out their cross-border projects in France. The idea took hold of creating an engineering structure for the French borders which could provide technical answer to local authorities and to the State. In April 1997, a Transfrontier Operational Mission, the Mission opérationnelle transfrontalière (MOT), was created by the French government as an inter-ministerial structure. Various pilot sites were set up and in January 1998, the MOT became a non-profit organisation.

The MOT’s network consists of players of border territories on both sides of French borders: regions, provinces, municipalities, groupings of local authorities, cross-border structures, public enterprises, chambers of commerce and industry, urban planning agencies, federations, networks and natural persons (national and European parliamentarians). The MOT’s network includes institutional partners at the French national level, as well as other states. The organisation also has very close links with the European institutions.

The MOT’s network currently comprises more than 70 members from ten European countries. It is largely representative of the players involved in cross-border cooperation: the different territorial levels, the different French borders, and neighbouring areas. All of the players are brought together in order to facilitate the design and implementation of cross-border projects. This positioning facilitates structured dialogue between national and European authorities, and local players. This multi-level approach meets the needs of cross-border territories, for which one has to take...

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