Local cross-border cooperation as a territorial strategy for the re-territorialization of peripherical regions? Cases studies in the Eastern Pyrenees?
The paper, based on the doctoral thesis still in progress, examine if local cross-border cooperation can be a territorial strategy in order to generate a shared endogenous local development, able to lead to a re-territorialization of cross-border spaces.
Through the territorialistic approach (Magnaghi, 2001) is possible to interpret the cross-border areas as territorial systems with a specific milieu and a network of local actors, despite the presence of a national border that led for centuries to legal, administrative, linguistic, psychological and cultural differences. Through the Communitarian framework, policies, strategies, tools and operational programs new forms of cross-border governance have been encouraged. The tools and concepts introduced by the European legislator are nowadays essential to support the CBC on a local scale, (especially in a context of economic crisis). Moreovere, the empowerment of local communities and institutions are a key factor to bet on a future polycentric Europe.
Two case studies along the same border (France-Spain) will be preseted. The first is the Cerdanya valley (located in the Eastern Pyrenees) a cross-border micro-region with an important historical and present CBC. The second one is the Cross-Border Catalan Coast, where despite the historical, socio-economic, environmental and geographical similarities, the CBC is still not perceived as a viable spatial strategy. It will be shown the territorial context, the historical and the current cross-border cooperation, stressing the limits and potentialities of these cross-border spaces located in the “Eurodistrict of the Catalan Cross-border Area”.