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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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Regional Groupings in Europe


After the end of the Second World War, the process of European Integration was initiated at the Hague Congress in 1948. The first step in this process was the creation of several European Organisations, two of which focused more in particular on borders and territorial cooperation: the Council of Europe, founded on 5 May 1949 in Strasbourg, which currently has 47 member states extending as far as the countries of the Caucasus and including all European States (with the exception of Belarus and Kosovo); followed by the European Economic Community (EEC), established on 25 June 1957 in Rome by 6 founding member states (France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux), which became ←676 | 677→the European Union (EU) in 1992 and currently comprises 27 member states, after the UK has left the Union on 31 January 2020 (Brexit). A third European Organisation, the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) was signed on 4 January 1960 in Stockholm between 7 member states (UK, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria Sweden, Norway and Denmark) as an alternative response to the EEC project of a Customs Union.

The Council of Europe, the EEC and EFTA regarded creating a “Borderless Europe” as one possibility for achieving the goal of preserving peace and achieving wealth in Europe, but the type of borders concerned and the scope of the member states involved were not the same and also changed over time, resulting in a variety of different regional groupings. For cross-border cooperation in Europe, it...

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