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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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United Kingdom


The United Kingdom (UK) joined the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, together with Ireland and Denmark. This EEC enlargement resulted in the establishment of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in 1975, which was necessary partially because in the UK, several industrial areas (including the Midlands, Yorkshire and Wales) were undergoing serious crises. It mainly led to one of the first two objectives of regional policy being laid down: to provide retraining in crisis areas. Despite the existence of the Channel Tunnel since 1993, the UK is still separated from its neighbours by maritime borders: from Ireland by the Irish Sea and from continental Europe by ←800 | 801→the Channel and the North Sea. These physical barriers mean that large distances have to be crossed and costly infrastructure (ports, bridges, tunnels, etc.) is needed to do so. However, the UK maintains close cooperation with France, but also with Belgium and the Netherlands, so as to ensure the management of ship traffic in the Dover strait linking the Channel and the North Sea, one of the busiest maritime routes in the world.

The UK was the second most highly populated country in the EU in 2019. With 66.4 million inhabitants, its population is slightly higher than that of France and like this latter, the state has been a long time in the making, starting in the 13th century with the consolidation of royal government. Although densely populated (260 inhabitants per km2), population densities vary...

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