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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 Review of Cross-Border Cooperation in North America

1.  Introduction



University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

This chapter is about cross-border cooperation in North America. Cooperation on the Canada/United States/Mexico borders results from expanding economic and social-cultural linkages1. The fundamental argument, supported by the evidence discussed below, is that trade linkages play the leading role in the development of policy parallelism and cross-border/borderland organizations spanning the Canada/USA/Mexican borders; while there are great numbers of organizations bridging the Canada U.S. borderland, the data shows, surprisingly, a lot less organizational linkages across the Mexico – U.S. border.

This is fundamentally dissimilar to the European Union experience where top-down funding and public policies enhancing regional networking have led to the creation of euro-regions linking various local and provincial (state) actors into cross-border-regional government-like organizations also called Euregios2. Because the European Union is much more than a free trade agreement it has also developed specific policies that straddle intra-European borderlands. A history of war (three between France and Germany, for instance in 1870, 1914 and 1939) have also led to a breakthrough in supra-national co-operation between Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy with the signature of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. This established deep institutional and policy ← 49 | 50 → co-operation in the monitoring and production of key war industries: the European Steel and Coal, and Atomic Energy Communities, and the European Economic Community. When those three communities merged in 1967, they resulted in the creation of a central federative bureaucracy (the European Commission, the...

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