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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 Metropolitan Region

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The effects of the European integration process are most apparent in the cross-border regions. They foster intensive interrelations extending beyond national borders and thus functional integration in Europe. In particular, cross-border agglomerations and metropolitan regions provide their population with a broad range of opportunities. Advantage can be taken of specific offers for jobs and services, educational institutions, cultural activities and leisure facilities on either side of the border. Moreover, there are particular infrastructures in border regions, such as bilingual kindergartens, educational institutions and study programmes. Nevertheless, these regions suffer from their peripheral position when ←248 | 249→it comes to the implementation of national policies, while complex multi-level interrelations and governance can hamper joint cross-border strategies and actions.

Even if the European Union (EU) 2020 Strategy to foster intelligent, sustainable and integrative growth pays little attention to territorial cohesion and territorial potentials, Cross-Border Metropolitan Regions (CBMRs) make a strong contribution to these objectives. CBMRs also support the strategic aims of the Territorial Agenda of the EU 2020 to promote polycentric spatial development and innovative networking of urban regions and cities. In doing so, they perform very well, but the future task will be to intensify work on metropolitan strategies for cross-border regions in order to strengthen their regional development.

An important contribution to show the potentials of Cross-Border Polycentric Metropolitan Regions was made by the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON) Metroborder project based on a Europe-wide analysis of Functional...

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