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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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For travellers as well as for goods, crossing the borders of the member states of the European Union (EU) and of other states, whether or not they are on the borders, is essential for economic competitiveness, as well as for the pleasure of travelling. This crossing is carried out in the interests of geopolitical coherence, which is supported by the EU and the border regions. This is all part of the protection of the environment and the fight against Greenhouse Gases (GHG), even though an overwhelming part of transport is carried out by road and therefore gives rise to pollution.

Europe has a long history of merchant tradition, where the trader is the major figure. He is at the same time entrepreneur, banker, insurer, shipowner, landowner and he takes a financial risk. Thanks to the instruments he contributed to create, he succeeded in developing long-term trade. The Hanseatic League was a medieval foreshadowing of trade-based power.

Conversely, until 1945, the establishment of national borders legitimized by the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 led to the multiplication of administrative harassment, taxes, protectionism and even diplomatic tensions and wars. As early as in 1951, with the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the founding fathers of the six member states put an end to the frontier-barrier paradigm. In 1957, Art. 75 of the Treaty of Rome proposed the establishment of a Common Transport Policy, which the states accepted only with reluctance, insisting on...

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