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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 Mediation

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Generally, mediation is an alternative, clearly structured and systematic way of resolving disputes. As a third party and neutral person, mediators assist the disputing parties in the process of communication in order to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential procedure led by a neutral, independent, impartial and qualified mediator. Thereby, mediation allows the parties to discuss controversial issues in a safe and pleasant environment and to develop their own constructive, creative and comprehensive agreement that best fits the individual needs and interests within a suitable timeframe.

Mediation is regulated at European level through the Directive 2008/52/EC on civil and commercial matters. It is to be underlined that a European code of conduct for mediators has subsequently been published. Additionally, Directive 2013/11/EU regulates the alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes. Thus, the European Union (EU) sets a framework for mediation with a restriction on some fields; the EU also mentions cross-border disputes, but refers to transnational matters in both directives.

If we now focus on cross-border contexts – which implies a limitation of the geographical areas but covers a larger range of issues concerned by mediation in comparison to the European approach – mediation takes a broader meaning. Indeed, if mediation is normally used when a dispute occurs, in the cross-border context, mediation can also have a preventive aspect. The first indication for this is that, in some cross-border contexts, it is difficult to speak of “disputes” without potentially causing negative diplomatic...

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