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Cross-Border Cooperation Structures in Europe

Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future

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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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Endeavours to Establish EGTCs on Hungary’s External Borders

1.  Introduction

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Edit SOÓS

University of Szeged

Hungary is situated in the centre of the Carpathian basin and borders with seven countries (Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia). It has a relatively large number of border regions in spite of the small size of the country, and the border length is nearly 2,246 km1. The north-eastern and southern border areas of Hungary presently comprise the external borders of the EU. Those that are regarded as external borders are the Hungarian-Ukrainian and Hungarian-Serbian border lines, featured by relative economic backwardness and past historical events.

In 2006 the European Union created an opportunity for members to establish EGTCs, bodies with legal personality to facilitate the cooperation of national, local and regional players and the efficient use of Union’s resources. Hungary is among the leading countries when it comes to EGTC in the internal border area. Twelve of them are seated in Hungary and four have Hungarian partners. The study analyses the reasons, why the EGTC setups with participation of third countries’ local governments on the Union’s external borders cannot achieve the approval by national authorities, therefore the registration in Hungary2. ← 213 | 214 →

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