European Union Cross-Border Cooperation and Conflict Amelioration

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The relevance of European Union (EU) cross-border cooperation for European border con?ict amelioration may be questioned in the contemporary global climate of threat and insecurity posed by forces of ’dark globalisation’. In any case, empirical evidence exposes the limitations of cross-border cooperation in advancing con?ict amelioration in some border regions. Nevertheless, in an enlarged EU which encompasses Central and East European member states and reaches out to neighbouring states through cross-border cooperation initiatives, the number of real and potential border con?icts with which it is concerned has risen exponentially. Fortunately, there are cases of EU ’borderscapes’ that have adopted a cross-border ’peace-building from below’ approach leading to border con?ict amelioration. Unfortunately, countervailing pressures on EU cross-border cooperation from border security regimes (principally Schengen), the Eurozone crisis, EU budgetary constraints, the conceptualisation of ’Europe as Empire’, and the possible recon?guration of the EU itself compromises this approach. Therefore, the path of European integration may well shift from one of inter-state peace-building and regional crossborder cooperation after the Second World War, to border con?ict and coercion in constituting and reconstituting state borders after the recon?guration of the EU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-216
Number of pages20
JournalSpace and Polity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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