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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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Eurocities on the Spanish-Portuguese Border

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Institutionalised cross-border cooperation at the local level on the Spanish-Portuguese border has started some years later than at the regional level. Some multi-lateral agreements have been signed between local and/or regional territorial authorities since 2000, such as the “cross-border association of municipalities of the ‘dry border’ ”, which has been integrated by 20 members, Ciudad Rodrigo (Spain) and Almeida (Portugal) being the two main municipalities. In some cases, bilateral agreements were signed, such as the Working Community Évora-Mérida, although these are not bordering localities. In this regard, it is worth highlighting the intense process of consolidating local agreements making use of the Eurocity label since 2007.

The first Eurocity was created along the Galician-Northern Portugal border in 2007, between Chaves (Portugal) and Verín (Galicia); since 2013, it has become a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC). This Eurocity is situated on the so-called dry Galician-Portuguese border, which consists of the Eastern section of the Galician-Portuguese border – an inland, rural and depopulated area. In fact, this Chaves-Verín association is the only area that could be defined as urban in this “dry Galician-Portuguese border” area. In any case, the municipality of Chaves has 40 672 inhabitants (22 363 in the urban agglomeration) and Verín 13 889 (10 007 in the urban agglomeration) and their Centres are separated by 22 km (the border area itself is mainly rural). This Eurocity project has managed three Interreg projects and has developed different initiatives related to culture...

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