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Cross-Border Cooperation Structures in Europe

Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future


Edited By Luis Dominguez Castro and Iva Miranda Pires

Since its inception, one of the distinguishing features of the project of European integration has been the overcoming of internal borders. This aim has had one of the most remarkable outcomes in the history of cross-border cooperation, resulting in the creation of territorial structures known as Euroregions, with or without legal personality, and with substantial financial support from EU institutions. This distinctive element is characteristic of the models and achievements of cross-border cooperation in Europe and North America.
At a time of reflection about the European integration model and its future, it is interesting to investigate the different aspects involved in cross-border cooperation, from a historical perspective projected onto the future. This volume looks at cross-border cooperation from a multiplicity of perspectives, examining its motivations, its actors, its inclusion in the context of international relations, its organizational models, its outcomes and its impact on labour markets, economic development, neighbourhood policies and the creation of new identities. These issues are analysed within a number of different European geographical locations, assessing how far we have come and exploring the road that still lies ahead.
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A Continuously Ambivalent Border. Building Cooperation Strategies in the Cross-Border Metropolises of Basel and Geneva

1.  Introduction


A Continuously Ambivalent Border

Building Cooperation Strategies in the Cross-Border Metropolises of Basel and Geneva

François MOULLÉ & Bernard REITEL

Laboratoire DYRT, University Lille Nord de France, Artois

The city, as a place of centrality and attraction, seems to be opposed to the concept of international boundary1 (associated to the idea of separation2 and understood as a limit of sovereignty between two national territories). However, in recent years, scientific interest has been drawn to cross-border urban areas, especially metropolises. These are often considered as the main anchoring points of the globalization of town systems and only a few of them are located on borders. In 1990, L. Herzog described the Greater San Diego-Tijuana (which is on both sides of the border between the United States and Mexico) as a cross-border metropolis. He emphasized its unique character and the symbiotic relationship that exists between the cities across the border3. Other researchers have recently emphasized the ambivalent nature of this configuration4. According to those researchers, the metropolitan dimension is only located on one side of the border, meanwhile the cross-border urban agglomeration is mainly characterized by the juxtaposition of two urban systems. The purpose of this article is to try to gain a better understanding of this spatial configuration (the cross-border ← 193 | 194 → metropolis) from the examination of two urban areas located in Europe: Basel and Geneva. Several studies have demonstrated the importance of cross-border urban situations in Europe and the existence of...

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