European macro-regions, Euroregions and other forms of inter-regional, cross-border cooperation have helped to shape new scenarios and new relational spaces which may generate opportunities for economic development, while redefining the political and economic meaning of national borders. This book is based on a number of key case studies which are crucial to understanding the complex web of political, economic and cultural factors that shape the heterogeneous picture of Europe’s new geography.
This book provides a fresh view on this phenomenon, with a realistic approach shedding light on its complexity as well as on its ambiguities. The new macro-regions are interpreted with an approach recognizing the importance of institutionalization, but also their flexible configuration and "blurred" borders. The book also raises the issue of credibility and legitimacy, arguing that inter-regional cooperation has to be removed from the foggy realm of the exchanges between local political and bureaucratic elites in order to be clearly and concretely motivated, and functional to key strategic objectives of the regions. Finally, the authors suggest a complementarity between relations based on proximity and wider (possibly global) networks where some territories, and especially metropolises, find opportunities based on "virtual" proximity.
Europe's Changing Geography provides a substantial re-appraisal of a key phenomenon in the process of European integration today. It will be of interest both to scholars of the political economy of European regionalism and to practitioners.
Preface Nicola Bellini and Ulrich Hilpert Part I: Introduction 1. Europe’s Changing Regional Geography: The impact of inter-regional networks Nicola Bellini and Ulrich Hilpert Part II: New Challenges and New Patterns of Collaboration 2. European Macro-Regions as a New Dimension of European Geography: Networks of collaboration in the light of culture, history and language capabilities Alexander Nagler Part III: Europe’s New Regionalisation: The integration of regional activities through macroregions 3. The Baltic Sea Region: Who cooperates with whom, and why? Carsten Schymik 4. Towards a ‘Wide Area Co-operation’: The economic rationale and political feasibility of the Adriatic Euroregion Alberto Bramanti and Paolo Rosso 5. A Typology of Agents and Subjects of Regional Cooperation: The experience of the Mediterranean Arc Antoni Durà i Guimerà and Xavier Oliveras González Part IV: Europe’s Re-Regionalisation Across Borders 6. Transnational Infrastructure Projects and Their Impact on Region-Building in the Southwestern Baltic Sea Region Magdalena Schönweitz 7. Incentives and Obstacles to Cross-Border Cooperation in Post-Communist Central Europe Gergő Medve-Balint 8. The Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion: Policy networks and institutional capacities Pilar Rodríguez Francesco Morata and Andrea Noferini Part V: Conclusions 9. Europe’s Changing Geography in Perspective Nicola Bellini and Ulrich Hilpert