Cross-Border Co-operation, Sub-National Entities and Multi-Level Governance
Scholarship financed by European Academy Bolzano (EURAC Research)

Cross-border cooperation (CBC) has become a common and widespread phenomenon. In Europe, it is part of the multiple processes which can be summarized as an increasing ‘denationalization’ of policies and politics on the one hand, and a significant – legal, political and symbolic – relativization of borders on the other. Increased interconnections through technological progress in the areas of communication and transport have also contributed to the spreading out of the phenomenon.
Starting in Western Europe with spontaneous and informal activities, which received legal recognition, first at international level, in bilateral agreements and in the realm of the Council of Europe (Madrid Outline Convention, 1980), in the last two decades it has significantly developed through the processes of European integration. The European Union introduced Interreg, made it part of the EU’s cohesion policy, as “European Territorial Co-operation” and adopted a specific instrument, the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation. In 2009, with the “macroregional strategies” a new form of European transnational cooperation has been launched. This was firstly applied to the Baltic Sea Region and was followed by the Danube area, the Adriatic-Ionian Sea, and the Alpine Region. 
Over the last years, CBC has increasingly become a subject of research and numerous publications have analyzed incentives, barriers, actors and processes of CBC from different disciplinary perspectives. 
The PhD scholarship sponsored by Eurac Research’s Institute for Comparative Federalism will be awarded to a research project-proposal which adds an original and innovative contribution to the existing research in the field. 
The potential of CBC for sub-national entities as well as for the multilevel governance-architecture of European integration shall be further explored. 

Francesco Palermo from EURAC Research, Jens Woelk