Transboundary state reterritorialization in the Romanian-Bulgarian borderlands

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In this research the process of reterritorialization and the development of the Black Sea EUregion and the Romanian-Bulgarian borderlands are analysed. Under the banner of globalisation Europe is increasingly being deterritorialized and its borders are disrupted. While the external border is becoming a spectacle of militarized border enforcement, the internal border appears to be silently eroding. The borderlands of today could be tomorrow's internal spaces. The European integration project and especially its EUregions are changing the relationship between territory, sovereignty and borders. This is also the case in the Romanian-Bulgarian situation where several cross border programs have been set-up, new regional cooperation networks launched and a few million Euro a year is allocated to the border. In the wake of the spatial turn within geography, the rise of EUregions as new transboundary spaces which might gain their own territoriality should gain much more academic attention. Territory is a combination of concepts like land and terrain but also encompasses ideas from the field of history, law and political science. Therefore it is the ideal concept to use when explaining a complex process like the changing of our territorial state system. It also puts the border into perspective. No longer is the border a primary (f)actor, but it becomes a second order issue, where territoriality is the condicio sine qua non of its borders. The focus on territory also defies two-dimensional thinking and prevents overstating the effects of globalization. It shows that besides deterritorialization new structures see the light and existing ones are changing. The territorial restructuring of the traditional Westphalian state is most visible in EUregions. On the political level they show a focus on non-exploitatational interdependencies, collectivization of national security and creation of an environmental agenda. The overall process points out to a process of (political) reterritorialization, because when two national governments agree to create a region that extends beyond the territory of their state they implicitly support a new territorial configuration. This also creates a dilemma, a conflict of territorial logics, where the territorial logic of the nations-state competes with the border bridging territorial logic of cross border cooperation. For the national government, the border is of great importance, since its delimits their sovereignty and more importantly, the sovereignty of its neighbouring countries. But for an EUregion, the border is a barrier to be overcome. Against this background, EUregions appear to be developing into cross border territories.
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