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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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Cross-Border Economic Cooperation

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Borders in their rudimentary forms are seen as obstacles to international trade and the exchange of goods and services. Bigger markets are usually a result of removing borders and potentially may affect productivity and growth in borderline regions. At the same time, cross-border economic cooperation may minimize divergences and disparities between neighbourhood regions. Due to the latter, successful cross-border economic development would in many cases reduce the previous economic gap between two economically divergent regions. In some ways, cross-border cooperation acts as a structural response to the peripheral location of some states, as it positively affects their location attractiveness.

Cross-border cooperation may shape internal and external processes. On the one hand, in the international context, many global issues have affected economic and trade relations in cross-border regions; on the other, internal economic and political parameters as new innovation systems or improved governance structures may influence the operation of cross-border regions.

An important part of cross-border economic cooperation is the so-called process of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) where home companies buy or rent the counterpart’s production facilities starting a new business or industry. That’s the opposite logic to that of the green-field investment model where a totally new production line is established in the neighbourhood region or country. Cross-border M&A largely supports the vision that both partners can benefit from the new merger via synergy effects such as new technologies or brands. In the same vein, as a consequence of these...

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