Sustainability of cross-border cooperation: PHARE CBC partnership development paths

  • Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska
  • European Urban and Regional Studies, April 2014, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0969776414526734

Collaboration in border regions

What is it about?

In the paper, I used the path dependency concept to explain how relations between organisations are built. I have taken collaboration in border regions in Poland as an example because the location in such region exposes organisations to many different factors: language barrier, differences in administrative systems, stereotypes. These areas in Poland were also for many years supported by different external programs which aimed in collaboration enhancement. In the paper, I argue that collaboration which was built in the last 15 years is very important for the organisations located in the border regions but it is also dependent on external funding.

Why is it important?

The paper shows how partnerships between administrative organisations can be described in a long perspective and in an institutional context. There is also an identification of design rules of inter-organisational collaboration built within political regions on the basis of external funding.


dr Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska
University of Warsaw

The paper is about cross-border cooperation and it is inspired by the institutional perspective. It is based on empirical studies on the Polish-German border which is one of the firmest borders in terms of language and as consequence in terms of building social relations in Europe. The paper describes the organisational effects of more than 10 years of European funding of cooperation. The organisations taken into consideration are local governments but also other organisations which were beneficiaries of those funds, ex. non-governmental organisations. The research was made mainly on the basis of qualitative studies - text analysis and in-depth interviews but also a questionnaire with beneficiaries was made. As a conclusion, I followed prof. Ostrom advise and identified three design principles - the most important rules institutionalising cooperation between Polish and German organisations around this border are: (1) dependency of cooperating organizations on external financing; (2) no cross-border organizations recognized as a host of a border region whose position would entitle them to take key decisions regarding the entire area covered by the research; (3) and the importance of the location rent in the border region as well as the attractive neighborhood rent that differentiates the cooperation.

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The following have contributed to this page: dr Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska