Transfrontier Cooperation and the Borders in the European Union
In Europe, many local authorities have been strengthening their cross-border links in response to the restructuring of national frontiers. This chapter examines three examples of transfrontier cooperation involving UK and French local authorities with very different administrative, political, economic and geographical characteristics, but each has sea borders with its cooperative authority. The Interreg programme provides European Union (EU) funding, in locations agreed by the European Commission, and for cross-border initiatives. Cross-border cooperative networks were designed mainly for the exchange of knowledge and information, but a growing number were developed either to increase resources mainly via EU programmes, or to synchronise policy implementation. Cooperation and networks have implications for local and urban autonomy. The emergence of cross-border initiatives raises important theoretical issues for the study of intergovernmental relations and central-local relations. Network economies and information exchange are perceived to be the main benefits of the Euroregion.