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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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Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau


“We support the creation of a Strasbourg-Kehl Eurodistrict, well served by public transport, which can explore new forms of cooperation and host European institutions.”

These words formed part of a joint statement, by French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on 22 January 2003, marking the launch of new plans for a structured space for cooperation between Strasbourg, the European capital, and Kehl, its immediate neighbour on the banks of the Rhine. The initiative came in the wake of earlier plans for a “European District” or “Euroregion”, with ←342 | 343→a special status, Centred around the Strasbourg-Kehl metropolitan area aimed at promoting Strasbourg on the European stage and showcasing the unique partnership between France and Germany.

The high-level political statement was issued on the 40th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, which made no provisions for cross-border cooperation and was the first of its kind to take account of the aspirations of local government leaders on both sides of the border. The plans emerged at a time when the environment was right for local political initiatives – France’s decentralization movement included provisions for territorial experimentation and the European Union (EU) was on the cusp of expansion with new states from East-Central Europe set to join.

Ownership of the project then fell to sub-national partners, who opted to expand the scope of the district on the German side to encompass Ortenaukreis in order to achieve demographic balance and align...

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