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Castle Talks on Cross Border Cooperation : What if the border comes back in Europe?

The second session of “Castle Talks on Cross-Border Cooperation”, part of the series of conferences organised in the framework of the Jean Monnet Project on conflicts and border cooperation in the European Union, took place this past February 20/21 at the Château de Pourtalès. In the effort to exchange practices and knowledge, these conferences brought together researchers from various disciplines (history, law, political science, geography, sociology…), students pursuing their master’s and doctorate degrees as well as numerous actors in cross-border cooperation. Titled “European borders as models of cooperation: What if the border comes back in Europe?”, this second edition sought to explore the hypothesis of a reapparition of borders in Europe.

The first morning’s introduction allowed various scholars from the academic world to lay the theoretical foundations on borders in Europe, their legal status, governance and possible reemergence. During the second half of the morning and the majority of the afternoon, researchers and professionals shared numerous case studies concerning the Espace Mont Blanc, the Greater Region and the Upper Rhine region, in line with the comparative approach of the project. The round-table discussion closing the day was an opportunity for participants to interview representatives of the Council of Europe, the Association of European Border Regions, and the academic world on the controversial topic of the return of borders.

After an introduction mixing theoretical discussions and case studies, the majority of the afternoon was devoted to student interventions. These presentations and the comments offered were an opportunity to change focus and broaden the discussion to non-European issues. Diverse problems – from protectionist taxes to migrant routes – were discussed, but such topics remained linked to the existence of borders.

Click here to access the presentations made during this symposium:


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