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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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Cross-Border (Im)mobility in Times of Crisis

1.  Introduction



Radboud University Nijmegen

Mobility has always been regarded as a major factor in regulating all kinds of regional and global imbalances. Noticeably mobility for economic reasons, be it companies off-shoring their activities or people moving for labour reasons, is supposed to counteract inequalities, both where it concerns the supply and the demand side. Especially in times of crisis, which most of the time exposes itself with several levels of intensities in different regions, mobility is supposed to even out the effects. Focusing on the European Union, it is clear that great differences do exist when looking at the effects of the recent financial crisis. Unemployment rates, particularly amongst the youth are far higher in Southern European countries, compared to many of the countries in Northern Europe. One could suppose that in the European Union, where one of its pillars is the free movement of people, this should result in strongly increasing levels of labour mobility.

Mobility within the European Union has always been encouraged as a major goal to the economic integration process1. If we look at the current situation, it is not bold to state that this cohesion has been challenged in the last decade. But even before this era of crisis, mobility was regarded as a major instrument. This has been so much so that stimulating mobility has become almost a goal in itself. In this respect, mobility in the United States has often been considered...

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