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EUBORDERREGIONS: European Regions, EU External Borders and the Immediate Neighbours. Analysing Regional Development Options through Policies and Practices of Cross-Border Co-operation

Time period: 2011-2015
Financing: Seventh Framework Programme; COOPERATION

Regions on the EU’s present external borders reflect perhaps most markedly both challenges to cohesion as well as the increasing importance of ‘Neighbourhood’ relations. As different as they are in social, cultural and geographical terms, these regions share general problems of economic peripherality and many negative impacts of structural change, such as rural de-population, ‘brain drain’, disinvestment and, frequently, below average levels of socio-economic well-being. By the same token, these regions will be increasingly affected – both positively and negatively – by increasing interaction with neighbouring states.

EUBORDERREGIONS will investigate the manifold consequences of increasing cross-border interaction for the development of regions at the EU’s external borders and, in this way, contribute to scientific and policy debate on the future of economic, social and territorial cohesion within the EU. 

The project’s general objective is to identify challenges to economic, social and territorial cohesion as well as regional development potentials as exemplified by different borderlands at the EU’s external frontiers.

Specific objectives include the following:

  • To consolidate knowledge and European research on regional development processes in external border regions of the EU;
  • To consolidate knowledge and European research on interrelationships between geopolitics, processes of regional co-operation and regional development;
  • To identify through case studies at the local/regional level, relevant structural and social factors that condition future development prospects;
  • In terms of a “bottom-up” approach: to understand how local communities perceive and interpret local/regional development within a wider European context;
  • To describe and study the ways in which regional development policies are being formulated and implemented;
  • To develop multilevel policy options for regions at the EU’s external borders.