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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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In 2007, Bulgaria was one of the last Central and Eastern European countries to join the European Union (EU) apart from Croatia in 2013, together with Romania. Like the latter, Bulgaria is part of the Balkans, a region in South-East Europe whose image is associated with confrontation, fragmentation, and a development gap with western Europe. It has an area of 110 550 km2. Its longest land border is with Romania (608 km), and most of that border is formed by the River Danube, which only has two bridges in this section and three ferries linking both sides. It also shares land borders with Greece (494 km) and three non-EU countries, Serbia (318 km), the Republic of North Macedonia, the new name of ←154 | 155→the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) (148 km), and Turkey (240 km). The Rhodope range is a mountain range shared by Bulgaria with North Macedonia and Greece. The country also has a maritime border on the Black Sea.

The history of Bulgaria is closely linked to that of the Russian, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian Empires. The first written mention of the name Bulgaria as a territory dates back to 681, but the first kingdom lasted less than 50 years (from 969 to 1018) as it was annexed by Byzantium. It was restored in 1186 but remained under Ottoman rule for nearly 500 years, from 1396 to 1878. A Bulgarian reawakening did not start until the second half of the 18th...

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