Cross-border co-operation on the example of Baltic Europe
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The process of developing cross-border co-operation, though progressing slowly, shows clearly signs of a growing trend. It covers examples not only of the water basins such as the Baltic and the North Sea but also the Mediterranean Sea. A factor accelerating the process and scope is the financing granted from European Union aid funds. In extreme cases, when co-operation develops slowly, limiting of funds or their lack can lead to stagnation or lack of mutual contact. A sudden worsening of political relations between countries lying on different coasts of the sea can also hamper co- -operation. However, the dominating examples indicating economic, cultural and political benefits that the coastal regions gain from the co-operation and the regular growth in number allows for the assumption that the process will continue. In the 21st century Europe will be a Europe of regions. Political and economic transformations of the developing Baltic Europe will no doubt have a definite impact on integration processes in Europe, on their expansion and even a probable correction in that direction. The developing cross-border coastal regions are an important element in the process. They should be a point of departure for further decisions and actions towards full Baltic integration.
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