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The Borderlessness of Economic Life and Intended Regionalisation

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Author(s): ISTVÁN MEZEI

Journal: Romanian Review of Regional Studies
ISSN 1841-1576

Volume: II;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Border | Cross border cooperation | Euroregion

ABSTRACT
The long area from the Baltic to the Adriatic and the Black Sea between the German and the Russian (and the 19th century Turkish) empires is called Eastern-Central Europe in the Hungarian academic discourse. The peoples living here were forced to conform to these big empires for long centuries. They needed strong adaptability in the 20th century, after the disintegration of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy, too. The independent states that emerged as succession states had to conform sometimes to the empires in the west and sometimes to those in the east both in an economic and a political, and a social sense. Economic development was influenced considerably by the political ambition of building an independent country, which meant radical elimination of century-long relations. Every country made a new, centrally controlled internal regional division. This was what happened in all the different political systems. In these decades, borders, both state borders between countries, and administrative boundaries within a country played an important part. Central political intention could only manifest itself through a hierarchical system, which postulated the exact detachment and the strong protection of the individual administrative areas. Consequently, the belts along the borders of the countries increasingly became depressed areas. The number of the inhabitants decreased and the population was ageing because the economy in these areas was not developed. In the new bourgeois period it was the economic political ambition of each country to be able to join world economy. On our continent the easiest way to achieve this aim was to join the European Union. However, as members of the European Union, these countries have to give up their former policy of isolation and they have to form organic (economic) regions. We can witness the weakening process of borders. This holds true for both state borders and administrative boundaries and the new method of enforcing central political will. The democratic bourgeois establishment tries to reduce the power of hierarchical systems. The increasing economic relations between the countries, the increasing role of cross-border relations, and the disputes regarding internal regional divisions are all markers of this process.
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