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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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Cross-Border Workers


Cross-border workers are a product of a labour market that extends beyond national borders in Europe. They are defined by their residing and working in two distinct national (often neighbouring) spaces, between which they travel back and forth on a daily or at least weekly basis. Their motive is often economic: they either are employed in the neighbouring state region because they can find a job there or because the salary is higher than in the home country. As resident of one state and employee in another, cross-border workers are confronted with intercultural socio-cultural (language, cultural habits) and administrative-political differences (tax systems, social security, health insurance).

The number of cross-border workers has increased considerably: from 250 000 in 1975 to 420 000 in 1995 and to 780 000 in 2009 in the European Union (EU)-27 (670 000 in the EU-15). By 2015, they made up 0.9 % of the 220.7 million-strong labour force in the EU-28. The largest numbers of cross-border workers come from France (438 000), Germany (286 000), Poland (155 000), Slovakia (147 000), Italia (122 000), Rumania (122 000), Hungary (111 000) and Belgium (107 000). Within the EU, Luxembourg is their first destination, with 181 000 incoming workers; 42 % of Luxembourg’s labour force reside in Belgium, Germany and France.

Outside of the EU, Switzerland is another ‘magnet’. Despite the slight decrease observed between 2017 and 2018, the number of cross-border workers has increased by 11.3 % over the...

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