B. Haselsberger, P. Benneworth:
"Do Euroregions have a future? Strategy making and policy delivery in multi-area Euroregions";
The main purpose of this paper is to contribute substantively to past, present as well as future debates about the `Europe of the Euro)Regions´ by highlighting the challenges and difficulties towards the building up of mutual understanding across (national) borders. Although the idea of building up mutual understanding which leads into reciprocal trust and consequently provides the very basis for strategy making and policy delivery in a cross-border context is not a new issue, this paper demonstrates on the Austrian-Italian Slovenian case that some essential aspects are still do not achieving the attention required when dealing with the so called multi-area `Euroregions´. The added value of on the one hand defining and analysing the socially rooted and culturally embedded meaning(s) of `spatial planning´ as well as the grasping of the `regions´ phenomenon in different planning cultures and traditions and moreover the translation of what this means in the EU sense is examined from this perspective. Building on the evidence drawn from the Austrian Italian-Slovenian case the paper explores a possible direction for building up effective long-lasting forms of cross-border cooperation throughout Europe through an approach which is defined here as the `Euroregional Planning Approach´. In this context it needs to be underlined that the `Euroregional´ planning scale (Fabbro 2010) is not as much as a reference to the formal concept of `Euroregion´ in the European Union but should rather be understood as a reference to the more complex planning practice that is required to realise stable forms of territorial cooperation between multi-area regions throughout Europe characterised by strong historical and cultural differences (Haselsberger 2010a). Therefore this paper ascertains two essential preconditions for and steps towards the successful overcoming of negative border effects and consequently the establishing of `soft spaces´ of interactions within the multi-area `Euroregions´ of the 21st century. This perspective consists of two interrelated spatial thoughts:
- the (Euro)Regional Planning Avenue dealing with the recognition and proper understanding of different planning cultures and traditions, which is considered an essential success-criteria not only for the emergence of but also for the durability of multi-area `Euroregions´;
- the (Euro)Regional Political Avenue grounded in the idea of establishing joint cooperation and governance platforms, equipping the multi-area `Euroregions´ with the `institutional thickness´ required for strategy making and policy delivery.
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