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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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Euregio (Gronau)


The Euregio in Gronau is a Dutch-German joint body that covers, on the German side, parts of the Federal Land of Lower Saxony (the rural district of the County of Bentheim, the urban district of Osnabrück and parts of the Emsland) together with parts of the Federal Land of North Rhine-Westphalia (Münsterland) and, on the Dutch side, the districts of Twente and Achterhoek with sections of Noordoost-Overijssel and Zuidoost-Drenthe. It includes 129 towns, communities, and Waterschapen (water boards)—104 on the German side and 25 on the Dutch side. Euregio is located between the major conurbations of the Rhine-Ruhr area and the Dutch Randstad area. The local economic ←316 | 317→structure is characterised by agriculture and a preponderance of small and medium-sized companies, plus cross-border tourism.

The Dutch-German border arose in medieval times, even though there was uncertainty as to where exactly it lay until the 18th century. The independence of the Netherlands in 1648 finally defined the territorial boundaries, which became the national border between Germany and the Netherlands upon the founding of the German Reich in 1871. However, business interlinking and exchanges did not decrease due to the economic mono-structure of the textile industry in the region. A decomposition of the region only arose as a result of the conflicts of the 20th century and the mutual resentment of the population, which were only overcome incrementally after the Second World War.

Euregio was founded in 1958 in the...

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