Cross-border areas, macro-regions: Rethinking the EU spatiality?
RGS Session sponsored by the Political Geography Research Group
Conveyors: Estelle Evrard (University of Luxembourg) and Franziska Sielker (University of Cambridge/University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
Over the last few years, scholars have attempted to capture EU spatiality. The concept of territoriality was coined as a useful tool to examine the spatial significance of the EU as a political system transcending nation states (Moisio & Lukkonnen, 2014). The different accession phases (“widening”) and integration phases (“deepening”, e.g. Euro currency, Schengen Area) have been analysed as “differenciated integration” (Schimmelfenning, 2016). Over the last two decades, national political parties and public opinion have played a larger role in the integration process. This progressive shift towards the EU integration was described as a move from a “permissive consensus” to a “constraining dissensus” (Hooghe and Marks, 2008). “Disintegration” is part of the political science literature since about a decade (Bartolini, 2004). Brexit represents a direct manifestation of such a shift. The later geopolitical change influences how other member states position themselves within the EU and their respective neighbourhood.
This session suggests taking territorial cooperation within the EU and with its periphery as the entry point to interrogate how EU spatiality is constructed. In this endeavor, cross-border cooperation areas and macro-regions are considered as examples of laboratories of cooperation across national and regional boundaries. These are horizontally at the crossroads of transnational flows and interdependencies fostered by the EU integration process. Vertically, they are often symptomatic to power shifts from the national level to the EU and subnational levels. They therefore allow reflecting on the challenges faced by diverging manifestations of territoriality, in an increasing differentiated integrated EU.
The RGS conference 2018 takes place while the Commission has released a White paper on the future of Europe suggesting different paths to pursue the EU integration. The overall ambition of this panel is to discuss the plasticity and meaning of EU territoriality against the backdrop of the wide ranging experiences from cross-border and macro-regional cooperation, and bottom-up initiatives without direct relation to EU cooperation formats. In our understanding, these forms of territorial cooperation question the concept of territoriality on the one hand and invite rethinking the EU integration on the other. We understand territoriality as a construction that can play different roles in different cooperation initiatives. We therefore seek both theoretical contributions questioning the core concepts as well as empirical contributions about regional experiences. The session conveyors intend to contribute to the overall reflection of EU spatiality.
The selected research papers will be allocated a slot of 15-minutes.
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Estelle Evrard (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Franziska Sielker (email@example.com) by 2nd February 2018 (5pm). This should include title (max. 15 words), author affiliation and email address.
- Bartolini, S. (2004): Political territoriality and European (dis)integration: https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/13883/IChapter5pdf.pdf?sequence=12
- Hooghe, L., & Marks, G. (2009). A Postfunctionalist Theory of European Integration: From Permissive Consensus to Constraining Dissensus. British Journal of Political Science, 39(1), 1-23. doi:10.1017/S0007123408000409
- Moisio, S. & Lukkonnen, J. (2014): European spatial planning as governmentality: an inquiry into rationalities, techniques, and manifestations, Environment and Planning C, 32, p.1-18
- Schimmelfenning, F. (2016): Good governance and differentiated integration: Graded membership in the European Union, European Journal of Political Research, 55, p.789-810