Socio-economic aspects of EU border regions development (example of Poland and Bulgaria)

Date: 2012-01-01 - 2014-12-31

Supervisor in IGSO PAS: Piotr Siłka

Contractors: Konrad Czapiewski, Tomasz Komornicki, Mariusz Kowalski, Piotr Rosik, Rafał Wiśniewski, Piotr Siłka

Foreign partner: Narodowy Instytut Geofizyki, Geodezji i Geografii Bułgarskiej Akademii Nauk

The main aim of the Project is analysis of the processes in border regions of the EU Member States, with special consideration of Polish and Bulgarian border areas. After the EU enlargement part of borders in both countries became external borders of the EU (with Ukraine, Russian Federation and Belarus in Poland and with Serbia, Turkey and FYROM). There has been significant change in character and way of functioning of state borders. On the one hand one can observe higher permeability of internal borders of the EU what enables higher flow of population, goods and capital. On the other hand opposite processes take place on external borders, that influence character and dynamic of transformation processes on border areas and it’s socio-economic development.

The conclusions worked out during the project will help to identify and understand changes that take place in border areas during change of border functions and character (e.g. accessibility changes, development of infrastructural background). They will be also contribution to public debate about function of external and internal borders of EU that take place in particular countries and whole European Community, especially in context of such documents like Europe 2020, the Territorial Agenda 2020.

The main aim of scientific and research cooperation will be evaluation changes in border areas of EU Member States, especially in Poland and Bulgaria. The research will be carried out in context of fundamental documents that shaping European space (like Europe 2020, the Territorial Agenda) on local (cooperation of basic administrative units – communes in Poland and obshtinas in Bulgaria), regional as well as national level. Separate analysis will focus on economic and social trans-border interactions (e.g. through evaluation of existing transborder projects). The above mentioned aims will be accomplished by exchange of experiences and research results conducted at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization PAS and the Geography Department at the National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography BAS, which will take place on joined geographic seminars and filed research organized in both countries.

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