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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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Ems Dollart Region



The Ems Dollart Region is one of the oldest Euroregions located at the northern part of the Dutch-German border area. Its territory consists of 20166 km2 with about 2.8 million inhabitants. Cross-border cooperation in this area got an official status in 1977 based on both a Dutch and a German legal form, the “stitching” association. However, since 1997, its juridical foundation rests on the Dutch-German Treaty of Anholt, which means that public bodies can be member of the Ems Dollart Region as a public sector entity recognized by the Dutch and the German state. As such, the Ems Dollart Region revolves around 100 members located in the two provinces of Groningen and Drenthe on the Dutch side of the border. On the German side, the Landkreis Emsland as well as the cultural region Ostfriesland (with its Landkreise Leer, Wittmund, Aurich and the kreisfreie Stadt Emden) are part of it. Moreover, the Landkreise Friesland and Cloppenburg are part of the Ems Dollart Region as well.

The area shares some historical characteristics which favour cooperation across the border. Cultural and linguistic ties, especially between Groningen and Ostfriesland, were stimulated by exchanges between secondary school students from the 1950s onwards. These exchanges helped to overcome the atmosphere of distrust caused by the Second World War and the borderland annexation claims of the Dutch government thereafter. The regional economy on both sides of the border suffered from its peripheral position with regard to the national centres of economic and political...

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