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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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The described territory has an area of 34 069 km2 and a population of over 7.8 million. It involves the Opole and Silesia Voivodships from Poland, the Czech Moravian-Silesian region and the Slovak Žilina self-administrative Region. Its population density is rather high with 228 inhabitants per km2, twice as much as the European Union (EU) average. On the other hand, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of around 12 000 euros per capita makes it far below the EU average. There are two cities with more than 300 000 inhabitants, Katowice (in Poland) and Ostrava (in Czechoslovakia). All of the regional Centers of this European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) are geographically substantially ←794 | 795→remote from their respective national capitals, Ostrava, 377 km from Prague and Katowice, 290 km from Warsaw. The core area of TRITIA is a conurbation around Katowice and Ostrava with a population of 5.3 million. Whereas the Silesian Voivodship and Moravian-Silesian Region represent the urban and densely populated part of the EGTC, the Opole Voivodship and the Žilina Region are its more rural part.

Heavy industry with coal mining and steel production has been since long the main economic activity in the cross-border region. But all of the regions involved have been undergoing economic reconstruction; the manufacturing industry, made up of mainly automotive, has newly emerged. Cooperating partners are tied by many socio-economic relations, such as the production chains in the automotive industry. Major economic centrers or metropolis are missing...

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