2002 年 2002 巻 22 号 p. 260-282,371
As enlargement and deepening of the EU integration go on, the functions of the borders in Europe are gradually changing. Rapid increase of organizations for cross-border, interregional and transnational cooperation for the last decade shows clearly this new regional dynamics, which brings about a few questions: Is the dividing effect of the border on the economic sphere possively not overestimated, especially in the internal border regions of the EU? and how does the double structure of the border of a federal state effect on cross-border regional cooperation?
First, on the one hand INTERREG for the internal border regions of the EU aims to remove the structural gap between core area and periphery within a nation, because there is not such deep gap in living standard between neighboring border regions as between both sides of an external border of the EU. In so far as this is the case, only removal of the dividing effect of the economic border is considered as the primary aim of INTERREG for the internal border regions. On the other hand the aim of Euregios is, just as illustrated by the activities of the Mozer Committee of EUREGIO, to remove the barriers in all dimensions of social life for true reconciliation and coexistence of Dutch-German neighboring inhabitants. In this meaning the removal of the border itself as “scar of history” is maybe considered as the end purpose of Euregios. Consequently there is a certain discrepancy in the understanding of the border between Euregios and INTERREG.
Secondly, the operational programs of INTERREG I and II were carried out in accordance with each special agreement under the actors. On this occasion the both states (Länder) of Germany, Northrhine-Westfalia (NRW) and Lower Saxony (Nds) along with the Netherlands play supervisory role for the five Euregios on the Dutch-German border. Furthermore the co-finacing amount of the states in the section “space structure” of INTERREG II for EUREGIO exceeded that of the EU fincing and reached 48%, by far over the share limit of 30%. It suggests that the borders of the Federal Republic of Germany fuction at first as those of the states, not of the Federation. Maybe it is an example of the general understanding in Germany that the substantial unit of regions should be state, namely NUTS 1-level in the postulate of “Europe of the Regions”. On the other hand each Euregio endeavors to integrate the both sides of the border de facto into one unit, which will converge rather on NUTS 2-level. A certain tension may lurk, therefore, in understanding of “Europe of the Regions” between the German states as territorial governmental units and Euregios as organizations for cross-border cooperation.