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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 Review

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2015 was the year when European Union (EU) financing for cross-border cooperation in the framework of the Interreg program celebrated its 25th anniversary. What had started as a modest Community Initiative in 1990 and had become a fully-fledged objective of European Cohesion Policy with an increased budget and an expanded geographical coverage due to the EU enlargement and the introduction of maritime cross-border cooperation areas.

The celebration of this anniversary was also the occasion to assess what had so far been achieved by Interreg. It seemed to be a success story: With modest financial means, much had been done along EU internal borders to build trust between close, yet divided, populations. Some of the most precious environmental assets – air, water, the fauna and flora – had been better protected thanks to cross-border cooperation investments and initiatives. Cross-border cooperation also prepared and equipped border regions in order to better deal in common with natural and man-made disasters. In many areas long secluded and cut-off, mobility across borders was improving and neighbours could generally get access to each other more easily than before. But border inhabitants know that these good points were not the full story. How about this speech therapist who still does not know how much she will earn now that she shares her working time between the two sides of the border? How about this man in a Nordic border who after an accident at work cannot follow his rehab at home because it is on...

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