Development opportunities of Slovenian border areas after the entrance of the Republic of Slovenia into the Schengen space
|Head of the project:
Milan Bufon, Ph.D. (University of Primorska – Science and Research Cenre of Koper)
|Cooperators from IES:
Boris Jesih, Ph.D.
|Duration of the project:
The project wishes to contribute to the development of an integral and lasting concept of the
arrangement and planning of the Slovenian border areas in conditions of crossborder integrations and stemming from social and spatial processes that are to be initiated by Slovenia’s entry into the
Schengen territory. The project wishes to study and offer actual expert and developmental solutions in view of the three main complex issue frameworks:
- development opportunities of Slovenian border areas after Slovenia’s entry into the Schengen territory;
- solving of the problems of the peripheral character in an economic-spatial sense and of marginality in a socio-cultural sense;
- synergic and optimal use of means allocated for the development of border areas by the
- Republic of Slovenia, the neighbouring countries and various European institutions for thedevelopment of border areas.
Namely, the new Europe will be in the first place tested in its very numerous border and ethnically mixed areas. This of course offers new opportunities to Slovene border areas, as well as new challenges, mainly in the reorganisation of traditional forms of activities and their adaptation to the new functions.
The experience gained by Slovenian and other cognate border areas in Europe shows that the actual intensity of crossborder relations depends not only on general international conditions but largely on the following two local factors:
- on the functional organisation of the border area itself and its adaptation to the needs of border population to satisfy the basic functions in the spheres of supply, labour, education, habitation in a community, and spending of spare time, and
- on the degree of social and cultural integration of the border population.
By considering the indicated specificity and the stimulative local socio-cultural and economic-spatial potentials, the Slovenian border and 'contact' areas could thus develop – particularly after Slovenia's entry into the Schengen territory and with the aid of the Republic of Slovenia, its neighbouring countries and various European programs – an exceptionally interesting 'laboratory' for the introduction of new models in the strengthening of various institutional and everyday forms of crossborder integration on the EU's southeastern 'margin'. This fact, however, could also by an exceptional developmental advantage for Slovenia in the European context, particularly in the light of its future presidency in the EU. The concept, which would be developed through the implementation of this target research program, could thus also be a 'model' of the European development program in the actual implementation of the 'united in heterogeneousness' strategy.