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Emerging Cross-Border Regions as a Step Towards Sustainable Development?

Author: JOACHIM BLATTER
Published in IJED, Vol. 2 No. 3

Do processes of territorial integration facilitate or hinder the search for sustainable development? This article examines this question using empirical examples of cross-border regions on a sub-national level in Europe and North America. It will be shown that the processes of crossborder cooperation have proceeded extensively. It is therefore permissible to speak about „cross-border region building“ and „territorial integration
processes.“ The essay then analyzes what interterritorial integration means for the search for sustainability, defined as cross-sectoral integration of
environmental, social and economic goals and interests. It will be shown that cross-border cooperation fosters antagonistic communities and therefore must be seen primarily as an obstacle in the search for sustainability. However, the empirical evidence does indicate that some cross-border regions may provide innovative platforms for multidimensional integration processes, which are needed for more sustainable ways of living.

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