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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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Eurocity Guben-Gubin

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The Eurocity Guben-Gubin is a European town-twinning project and an urban area located in the German-Polish border region, separated by the Neisse river. More precisely, the Eurocity is situated in Lower Lusatia (Niederlausitz/Łużyce Dolne) in the Federal German state Brandenburg and the Lubusz Voivodeship in Poland. It is part of the German-Polish Euroregion Spree-Neiße-Bober/ Sprewa-Nysa-Bóbr. The twin city has been proclaimed as Eurocity in 1998.

Prior to the town twinning, this city experienced a turbulent history. The city had been one, until the end of the Second World War after which it was divided. The Oder Neisse border was recognized by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1950 and by the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in 1990. In comparison with other European twin cities within the German-Polish border area Frankfurt (Oder)- Słubice and Görlitz-Zgorzelec, the historical centre in the double city Guben-Gubin is located on the Polish side of the border.

The city is embedded in a structurally weak region. This has been especially true for the German side of the city which has experienced depopulation, demographic changes and a high rate of unemployment. Its population decreased from 37 000 in 1985 to 17 500 in 2017. The Polish side of the city shows similar trends regarding the size of its population. Nevertheless, and especially in the 1990’s, the cityscape and urban development showed a disparate image. Against this backdrop, in the year of 1998, both...

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