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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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Regions of the Southwestern Europe (RESOE)

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Regions of the Southwestern Europe (RESOE) refers to an agreement signed between six territorial authorities: four Spanish autonomous regions (Galicia, Castile and León, Asturias and Cantabria) and two Portuguese deconcentrated regions (North and Centre). In total, these six regions cover 32 % of the Iberian Peninsula area, and 24 % of its inhabitants: these proportions are indeed one of the main reasons for the RESOE’s political vindication, given that they show low density of population and depopulation. In addition, ageing is reported to be one of the main weaknesses of the RESOE area. In particular, these negative demographic figures are especially alarming in the bordering region between inland Galicia, Portugal and Castile and León, which has been labelled as a “demographic ruin”, “demographic empty”, or even “terra nullius”. In terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, both Portuguese regions are lagging behind the Spanish regions (around 15 000 euros the average of the former and 21 000 euros the average of the latter); in any case, all of them are under the EU average (around 29 000 euros). Far from Madrid and Lisbon and the more populated and economic active Mediterranean coast, this macro-regional initiative pursues to reinforce cooperative initiatives between partners.

RESOE follows a path directly connected to the European Union (EU) political guidelines regarding the proposal of establishing macro-regional strategies. In fact, the creation of RESOE has to be read as a reaction to the 2009 European Commission Communication concerning the...

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