The project ‘Initiative and constraint in the mapping of evolving European borders', funded by the award of a Jean Monnet Action through the Lifelong Learning Programme of the EU’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), is devoted to the analysis of voluntarism v. determinism as key factors in border creation and evolution and as parameters in prospective border studies, focusing on the specific case of contemporary Europe. The results of this research project lead to the drafting of policy recommendations to guarantee constructive European neighbourhood relations as well as the establishment of a more thoughtful, integrative and ‘border-sensitive' EU external communication policy. In this sense, the project starts from the premise that an in-depth interdisciplinary critical analysis of the active role of borders in shaping European policy-making is particularly urgent in order to offer tangible and comprehensive solutions to the challenges of past and future enlargements and for the consolidation of a fruitful and proactive external role for the EU in an increasingly interdependent world.

Project aims

Building a quality reference for research and didactic purposes on the subject of ‘Initiative and constraint in the mapping of evolving European borders’. Access to this resource will be facilitated by the digital nature of its development and consultation features, with the publication of a digital research corpus and subject file on the CVCE website.

Helping to shed light on new approaches and lines of research related to the project theme, thus enhancing the valorisation possibilities for the project research results, created by a highly active international network of eminent experts.

Assembling unique documents from geographically dispersed archives and revealing their interconnections by comparing and examining them in detail within the thematic work packages and research areas of the project.

Bridging research and European policy-making through in-depth analysis that is sensitive to border issues.

Creating a systematic bibliography of secondary sources on the main project themes.

Link to the project website:

Project Manager at the CVCE:Cristina Blanco Sío-López (cristina [point] blancosiolopez [at] cvce [point] eu)

Steering Committee

The peer review committee for this project is composed of the following experts:

Prof. Ioan Horga, Jean Monnet Chair, Institute for Euroregional Studies, University of Oradea,

Prof. Ariane Landuyt, Jean Monnet Chair in History of European Integration, Centro di ricerca sull’integrazione europea, CRIE (Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence), University of Siena,

Prof. Giuliana Laschi, Jean Monnet Chair ad personam, Punto Europa Forlì, University of Bologna,

Prof. Maria Manuela Tavares Ribeiro, Centro de Estudos Interdisciplinares do Século XX, University of Coimbra.

Digital Research Corpus

The project digital research corpus provides both textual and audiovisual primary sources coming from international archives which have undergone a thorough process of research analysis, thus constituting a key reference for the study of the evolution of contemporary European frontiers.

The structure of the digital research corpus follows the project work packages' structure, taking always into account a correlation with the process of European integration and a chronological order for the consultation of sources.

List of project work packages:

WP1 European identity frontiers and the geography of EU symbolic borders

WP2 Enlargements, borders and the changes of EU political priorities

WP3 European borders, governance and political organisation

WP4 A security dimension as trigger and result of European frontiers modifications

WP5 Permeability and impermeability of socio-economic frontiers within the European Union

The corpus has been published following the unanimous positive evaluation of the committee.

Consult in PDF format