By Klimovský, D., Swianiewicz, P., Copus, C. and Wollmann, H., 2010


Local territorial organization at the lowest level of towns, municipalities, and villages has changed in many countries in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe since 1990. Territorial fragmentation has been a recent trend in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Macedonia, and several other countries. This was often a reaction to earlier territorial consolidations introduced by the communist government in an undemocratic manner, without any public consultation (like in the former Czechoslovakia and Hungary). After 1990, decentralization and a paradigm of local autonomy were often understood in a way that gave the right to become a separate local government to almost each settlement unit, even if that unit was a tiny village. Attempts to create or maintain larger territorial jurisdictions were seen as a violation of local autonomy. As a result, in several countries, there was a significant proportion of very small authorities, many of which had much less than 1,000 residents. Extreme examples of villages like Bidovce in the Czech Republic or Prikry in Slovakia, had fewer than 10 citizens. Conversely, there were examples of territorially consolidated countries (such as Yugoslavia/Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Poland) where the median size of the local government unit was much larger, though none of them had less than 1,000 residents. But the phenomenon of territorial fragmentation at the lowest tier has been widespread.

By Lechevalier, A. and Wielgohs, J., 2013


In the context of globalization, accelerated European integration, and the ongoing territorial and political restructuring of the European continent, border regions have become subject to intense multidisciplinary research by European scholars, too, in recent years. What makes these regions interesting is that they are emerging, dynamic social spaces. Newly created border regimes define the new opportunity structures framing cross-border cooperation, and residents and their representatives decide continually anew how to react to them. In this volume, the problems of different types of European border regions are analyzed. The opening of the internal borders within the EU and within the Schengen space have set off a new dynamism in economic and cultural cross-border cooperation. But a reluctance to fully use the newly available opportunities also has been revealed. This reluctance is perhaps rooted in inherited stereotypes, institutional inertia, or structural legacies. As a result, the EU is experiencing new challenges. In the aftermath of the recent extension of its external borders to the east and southeast, the EU is struggling to balance its internal security needs, economic growth targets, and normative power ambitions. The limited usefulness of its traditional “soft power” approach now seems to have become quite obvious at its periphery.

By Wendt J., 2001


The transborder co-operation, which has existed in the Western Europe since the 1950s, developed in Poland after the year 1990. After ten years, some euroregions came into existence nearly on the all length of the Polish borders. The transborder co-operation is just being planned or developed in the regions. Generally, the co-operation with different regions lying on the other side of the country's border is established in the reason of some local societies. But in the last ten years, since the first euroregion was created, some clear trends of its development can be indicated. After introducing the new administrative system in 1999, the communal and provincial competencies have changed, new territorial structures - the districts were introduced and the number of provinces was reduced. Considering the territorial administration changes and the institutionalisation of the transborder co-operation, the country's administrative division will influence the development of economic, ecological and transport connections now existing or in potential euroregions. Therefore, it is important to know in what rate the new administrative structure has adopted the area and its economical potential of the provinces to the co-operation and competitions with similar regions bordering with Poland. Estimation of
the today's transborder co-operation and the influences of administrative division on the possibilities of Polish development are also very important.

By Elisabeth Bonnet-Pineau and Christian Vandermotten, 2016


The study of territorial divisions is expected to fall within the remit of political geography, as it implies an analysis of relations between power and territories as political constructs. However, given the multi-faceted nature of the « territorial paradigm », we should also look at other approaches to territoriality (M. Vanier, 2010). The articles compiled in this issue tackle territorial divisions from two angles, drawing comparisons between Western and Eastern European states, including countries that
joined the European Union in 2004 (Poland) or 2007 (Bulgaria) in the latest rounds of enlargement, as well as Germany and its struggle to meet the challenges of reunification and modernisation.