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Making Sense of Macro-Regional Strategies in the EU: Differentiated Integration and the Macro Regions' External Dimension

Vogelsang, Kristina-Elisabeth (2014) Making Sense of Macro-Regional Strategies in the EU: Differentiated Integration and the Macro Regions' External Dimension.

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Abstract:The Treaty of Lisbon stated with its enforcement in 2009 the need for the European Union (EU) to focus on territorial cohesion to strengthen the European Integration process. Even though it is not stated by term in the Treaty, the idea of macro-regions and macro-regional strategies developed from a pilot project to a new fashionable way of alternative integration. Instead of a common integration process with all EU member states involved, a macro-region only involves some states that share the same challenges and are most of the time clustered around environmental aspects like sea, mountains or rivers. Due to the fact that common challenges, especially with regard to environmental issues do not end with the internal borders of the EU, non-EU countries can also be part of EU macro-regions. The external dimension of the macro-regional strategies can vary not only in the number of third countries but also in the areas of responsibility. The three cases of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Danube Region and Adriatic-Ionian Region serve as central cases for investigating not only the macro-regional strategies itself but also the different compositions of the external dimension. The development of EU macro-regions can be linked to the theory of differentiated integration. This alternative integration approach is not in need of all member states but focuses more on a certain group of countries that intensify their cooperation with regard to specific matters which are not applying to the whole EU. One argues that the process of macro-regional strategies would strengthen this process and a multi-speed Europe could arise. The research at hand analyses the link between those two variables with the special focus upon the external dimension.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
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