By Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière, 2017


The brochure presents the achievements of its members and partners by way of 20 experiences aimed at serving the inhabitants of cross-border territories (Part 1); the obstacles that have been overcome or that still pose a problem,
and the toolkit developed to overcome them (Part 2); and lastly, the current challenges for Europe and its cross-border territories, and the political responses at the different levels of territorial action: local and regional, national, European and beyond (Part 3). Most of the examples come from Western Europe, where the MOT and its network act on a daily basis;
but the diversity of the borders discussed makes these examples stimulating for other borders in Europe and the rest of the world.

By Antoine Decovillea and Frédéric Durand, 2017


Cross-border strategies have been flourishing over the last few decades in Europe, mostly in a favourable context where European funding is available and legal instruments are well-developed. However, one may wonder which objectives are really targeted within this very broad and imprecise notion of cross-border strategy. The purpose of this paper is, first, to provide a theoretical framework in order to better understand the different meanings of the notion of cross-border integration and to provide a more critical perspective on its effects. Secondly, it analyses the policy content of the cross-border territorial strategy developed within the Greater Region before, in the final section, pointing out the difficulties faced by policy-makers during its elaboration. This final section is based on the insights brought both by the regional stakeholders interviewed and by our expertise as moderators and scientific advisors within the working group in charge of the realisation of the cross-border territorial strategy. The main finding of our analysis is that the consensus that has been reached by all the stakeholders is the “smallest common denominator”; that is to say, the least constraining.

By Attila Fábián, 2013


The present essay makes an attempt to examine the sociocultural field with a constructivist approach, which gives an opportunity to interpret the concept of “border” in a discursive way. This approach emphasises the importance of the role of the ideas and values related to the creation and the development of cross-border regions. The essay places great emphasis on security and cultural communities that are necessary for cross-border cooperation and sustainable regionalism. According to constructivism, security means the communities are in a mutual multi-level connection and people try to avoid conflicts with dialogue, cooperation and socialization. A cultural community along a border is a community created by border societies whose members mutually influence each other. Because of these two aspects, a good neighbourly relation can develop along the border, which may have beneficial effects on the economy of the whole country.

By Mikel Navarro, 2018


For security and other reasons, countries have put up borders, resulting in negative effects that are particularly evident in cross-border regions. In order to counteract these effects in Europe, cross-border cooperation actions began at the end of the Second World War in terms of territorial planning, transport, the environment, etc. In the case of innovation, the main issue that has prompted the consideration of cross-border collaboration in the European Union (EU) is the very same issue that has propelled the adoption of smart specialization strategies (S3): the fragmentation of the European regional innovation systems. This fragmentation prevents the exploitation of different types of economies of scale and scope – the production of public goods and externalities (regional identity and branding, etc.) – which takes place especially in the field of innovation. The first proponents of the research and innovation strategies for smart specialization (RIS3) attributed this problem to the EU lagging behind the US in innovation and productivity.