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November 7-9 - Conflict and Cooperation at EU Borders: Open or Closed Borders?

On November 7th and 8th the conference “Conflict and Cooperation at EU Borders: Open or Closed Borders?” took place in the Château de Pourtalès in Strasbourg. The conference marked the starting point of the Jean Monnet Project about conflict and cooperation at EU borders. The project aims at allowing an exchange of experiences as well as triggering a debate about the role of borders in the light of the European integration process and transnational cooperation. Furthermore, the creation of an encyclopedia about conflict and cooperation at the inner-European borders is planned. The encyclopedia addresses students of relevant disciplines as well as actors of transnational regions.

The first day enabled scientists and students to benefit from an academic exchange. In the morning, different theoretical approaches about cooperation and collaboration were presented and discussed. Oliver J. Walther hold a speech about the Applied Social Network Analysis in the context of border conflicts. In the course of the day, border regions between France-England-Belgium as well as Italy-Slovenia-Austria were the subject of the discussions. The group examined past and current challenges and achievements. Finally, a speech in the evening rose the question of the impact of the refugee crisis on border regions, the Schengen zone and generally on the perception of borders in Europe.

The second day started with student presentations that called attention to various aspects of borders. Among others, topics were integrational approaches, the consequences of the refugee crisis and the media coverage of the latter in EU-member states. For this part, students and scientists changed roles: while the students hold speeches, the scientists listened to and commented on their presentations.

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