Uncertainty in European cross-border-cooperation – framing and comparing insights from the regional and local level

Authors: Stefan Bloßfeldt*, University of Koblenz
Topics: Planning Geography, Political Geography, Applied Geography
Keywords: European Integration, Border Studies, Cross Border Cooperation, Uncertainty, Regional Development
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Cabinet Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Cross-border cooperation in Europe has been institutionalized about three decades ago as an enabler of European Integration. Based on the idea that prosperity and peace can only be achieved through cooperation, substantial financial means have been attributed to initiatives on this behalf; especially for neighbouring regional and local entities with a common agenda on cross-border-cooperation. Today, with regard to the obvious crisis of the European Union the above described paradigm on long-term fruitful cooperation appears to vanish and an increasing number of uncertainties concerning European cross-border-integration arises. The European project itself is currently being questioned by right-wing populism as well as by some left-wing movements. In my presentation I try to identify the new uncertainties putting the local decision makers and facilitators of cross-border-cooperation under stress. To what extent do populism and the questioning of European core values (such as the single market and the Schengen open-border policy) have a tangible impact on the style and quality of regional and local cross-border-cooperation? Do new local strategies emerge or is practical, established cross-border-cooperation “on the ground”, between municipalities and regions, rather immune to the current re-bordering discourse? I will present a point of departure for a larger discussion about uncertainty related to the European project and its entanglement on multiple levels of interaction.

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