ChapterPDF Available



Abstract and Figures

The EU's cohesion policy aims at convergent development of the member states and their regions, including border regions. In consequence, cohesion trends are a prominent research object. However, the effects of crises and the role of resilience for border regions is a less prominent research object. Recent crises include the current pandemic, the refugee migration in 2015 and the financial crisis of post 2008. These crises put border regions in the focus of sensitive political discussions and raise questions on the convergence paths. Against this background, we combine the two concepts of cohesion and resilience at the example of the 2008 financial crisis at the example of Czech-German border regions. In addition, we position them in relation to other Czech border regions. Our argumentation is based on results from the project "Cohesion in border regions" (CoBo), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Stefan Hippe, Tobias Chilla
The EU's cohesion policy aims at convergent development of the member states and their regions,
including border regions. In consequence, cohesion trends are a prominent research object. However,
the effects of crises and the role of resilience for border regions is a less prominent research object.
Recent crises include the current pandemic, the refugee migration in 2015, and the financial crisis of
post 2008. These crises put border regions in the focus of sensitive political discussions and raise
questions on the convergence paths. Against this background, we combine the two concepts of
cohesion and resilience at the example of the 2008 financial crisis at the example of Czech-German
border regions. In addition, we position them in relation to other Czech border regions. Our
argumentation is based on results from the project "Cohesion in border regions" (CoBo), which is
funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Regional economic resilience, border studies, cohesion, economic convergence, financial crisis
JEL Classification: G01, O47, R11
The European integration process is closely linked to the concept of cohesion. With its cohesion
policy, the EU strives for convergent development of the member states, in particular in the EU's
border regions. They are considered to be laboratories of Europe and the European idea is probably
most prominent at the borders of the member states (European Commission, 2021).
Externally emerging crises, such as the financial crisis in 2008 or the coronavirus crisis in 2020/2021,
occur more frequently and have a greater impact on global economies (Bonß, 2016). In recent years,
highly political issues, such as the refugee crisis, have led to increasing controversies between
political actors in Europe. Furthermore, they have an impact on cohesion processes in the EU (cf.
Fedajev et al., 2021; Gräbner et al., 2020; Martinho, 2021). In parallel, the concept of resilience is
increasingly attracting political, public and academic interest. When crises occur, national interests
often come to the fore (cf. Lara-Valencia & García-Pérez, 2021). Border regions, which actually
represent the core element of European integration, suddenly become the ‘forgotten’ regions due to
border controls or even closures (cf. Goolsbee & Syverson, 2020; Böhm, 2021). The free movement
of labour is partially restricted and the Schengen Agreement is suspended (Evrard & Chilla, 2021).
Our analyses provides empirical arguments on the economic development trends for the years 2000
to 2018, which cover the period around the 2008 financial crisis. This allows a positioning of the
concepts of cohesion and resilience. Our geographical focus is on the Czech-German border regions
and we relate this to the other Czech border regions with Austria, Poland, and Slovakia. The question
here is how the financial crisis affects the cohesion process and what differences exist between the
border regions.
The results are based on the current research project "Cohesion in border regions" (CoBo), which is
funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Cohesion has been an essential part of the European integration process since the founding of the EU.
It aims to bring the European member states closer together in economic, social and territorial terms.
From the perspective of border studies, two aspects play a central role: Firstly, the institutional
dimension means an intensified cooperation across borders that comes along with integration
processes. Secondly, the economic integration across borders leads in the best case to win-win
situations and to the reduction of regional disparities (De Boe et al., 1999).
The two dimensions correlate with regard to cohesion processes. In this paper, however, the focus is
primarily on the economic perspective. Cohesion policy intends to strengthen weaker nation states
and regions in the long term, and some authors consider this approach rather as economic policy (cf.
Loewen & Schulz, 2019). From this perspective, cohesion means the reduction of regional disparities
and a convergent development of member states and regions, including border regions.
Goecke (2013) describes a convergence process in the EU since 1950. This long-lasting overall
convergence trend ended abruptly in 2008 due to the global financial crisis (Goecke & Hüther, 2016).
The crisis hit some countries harder than others, leading to increasing disparities and a disturbed
convergence process (Liviu-Stelian et al., 2014; Monfort, 2020). Both the national and the regional
levels are important for the understanding of crisis effects. Against this background, the concept of
regional economic resilience develops a process model consisting of five elements (see Fig. 1, Martin
& Sunley, 2015):
- vulnerability (the sensitivity of a region's actors to a shock)
- shocks (the origin, impact and duration of an external disturbance)
- resistance (the impact of the shock on the economy)
- robustness (adaption of the shock) and
- recoverability (the extent of economic recovery from the shock).
Figure 1: Regional economic resilience as a process. Source: Martin & Sunley, 2015:13
Sensier et al. (2016) emphasise that crises can also be an opportunity. Regional economic resilience
helps regions to identify their potentials, capabilities and to formulate new strategies. Those help to
face crises and to influence their development path positively, thus, to achieve better resilience
(Giacometti et al., 2018). Policy efforts towards an adaptive economy can be resilience enhancers, in
particular on the regional level (Bianchi et al., 2021). Border regions, however, face the particular
challenge that the situation differs on either side of the border.
Crises have to be seen against the background of already existing problems, often of longstanding
character. This is captured by the concept of slow burns that make crises shocks more probable
(Pendall et al., 2010). Demographic problems as outmigration and ageing or lacking political
alignment are important examples that make regions more susceptible to crises (OECD, 2014).
Shocks and crises that often originate from countries elsewhere can diffuse via the open borders of
the neighbouring country (cp. Christopherson et al., 2010). As a result, border regions are influenced
by and dependent on developments in neighbouring countries. Unforeseen shocks trigger political
turbulence, to which people mostly react with national patterns of thinking (Prokkola, 2019). National
thinking hampers to find solutions for the related border regions, often leading to reinforced
disparities. A combined view of cohesion and resilience in border regions is therefore of utmost
interest. Against this background, we reflect on the following research questions in this paper with a
focus on the Czech-German border regions:
i) What have been the effects of the post 2008 crisis on the convergence process in Czech-German
border regions?
ii) Do the Czech-German border regions show a convergent development? What kind of differences
can be observed between the Bavarian-Czech and the Saxon-Czech border regions?
iii) How do the developments in the Czech-German border region relate with the developments in the
other Czech border regions?
iv) What do the measurable trends indicate with regard to the link between cohesion and resilience?
The reflection on convergence and resilience in the Czech-German border area has to consider the
historical background. It was only after the fall of the Iron Curtain that the first forms of cooperation
across the border were created. Many other German border regions began cross-border cooperation
several decades earlier. Accordingly, the five existing Euregios between Germany and the Czech
Republic are some of the youngest border cooperations with German participation. The cooperation
forms along the Czech-German border are heterogeneous, involving several political levels and
overlapping perimeters (Chilla et al., 2018). The situation is also hampered by the geomorphological
conditions along the Czech-German border. For example, numerous sections along the border are
characterised by low mountain ranges. In the north, the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and the Ore
Mountains can be found, and in the south of the border, the Bavarian Forest on the German side and
the Šumava National Park on the Czech side. These topographical features influence accessibility
across the border and often lead to barrier effects (Bertram et al., 2019). Furthermore, a study by the
European Parliament shows that both German and Czech citizens perceive language as a barrier even
if it is a higher barrier for Germans (European Parliament, 2021).
The EU accession of the Czech Republic in 2004 was an accelerator of cooperation between regions
on both sides of the border. Nevertheless, border controls were only abolished at the end of 2007. The
result was consequently an intensive spatial integration at all levels. Free movement of workers and
good cooperation from the regional to the national level characterised the following years until the
refugee crisis in 2015. However, both the refugee crisis and the current coronavirus crisis
impressively show that both cooperation and cross-border life are on shaky ground (cf. Evrard et al.,
2018). The Schengen Agreement was suspended, borders were closed and the neighbouring state was
perceived as a threat. The debate on crisis management and regional resilience came high on the
political agenda. These crises experience are a major challenge for territorial cohesion. The following
empirical study therefore analyses the convergence developments in the Czech-German border
regions and positions them in relation to the other Czech border regions.
The reflection on cohesion and resilience in the Czech-German border regions calls for a small
analytical scale. We consider the Bavarian-Czech (BY-CZ) and Saxon-Czech (SN-CZ) border
regions separately, as both border regions are different in political and socio-economic terms.
Additionally, we compare the CZ-DE to all other Czech border regions.
Border regions in our analysis are defined as administrative units (NUTS3 regions with min. 25% of
their area within a 25 km buffer along the border) adjoining to a national border.
In our study, we operationalise cohesion as economic convergence, measured with the change in
GDP/capita as the key economic indicator (cf. Artelaris, 2015; Di Caro, 2020; Martinho, 2021;
Monfort, 2020). The analysis is based on Eurostat data.
We consider data from 2000 to 2018 at NUTS-3 level, in order to cover a large time range before and
after the financial crisis. This allows capturing long-term developments and crisis effects (cf. Goecke
& Hüther, 2016; Martin & Sunley, 2020; Monfort, 2020).
The aim of this article is to illustrate convergence and divergence developments with the help of
descriptive regional statistics. The most common form of measuring convergence is the unconditional
β convergence. We measure this by GDP/capita development, supplemented by σ-convergence. It
allows a statement about the dispersion between two spatial units (cf. Artelaris, 2015; Goecke &
Hüther, 2016; Monfort, 2020). For this purpose, the coefficient of variation (cv) is calculated with the
following formula:
×100 (1)
σ means the standard deviation and μ the mean value. The quotient is multiplied by 100 for a
percentage result. The curve over all years allows statements on σ con- and divergence. The greater
the value of the coefficient, the greater the disparities. If the disparities decrease, the dispersion within
the spatial category is reduced and the coefficient decreases.
Economic resilience is measured according to the five steps of Fingleton et al. (2015): (i) unit of
study: NUTS-3; (ii) indicator: GDP/capita; (iii) shock event: 2008 financial crisis; (iv) determinants
of resilience: development and growth of GDP/capita; (v) linkage back to other studies: case studies
EU and Germany. The measurement also corresponds to the approach of the resilience index
according to (Martin & Sunley, 2015).
Figure 2 shows the development of GDP/capita from 2000 to 2018. For the entire study period, SN-
CZ shows stronger growth than BY-CZ. While a decline in growth due to the financial crisis is clearly
visible in SN-CZ, it is less so for BY-CZ. According to the concept of regional resilience,
vulnerability was greater for SN-CZ. Until the financial crisis, SN-CZ shows clear growth pattern,
and the post-crises years show again a renewed growth. While the initial resistance was not strong,
the long-term robustness is clearly higher. The BY-CZ border regions show the ability to absorb for
GDP/capita. This means that the shock is ‘swallowed’ and the crisis does not have a major impact
(Martin & Sunley, 2020).
Figure 3 shows the GDP/capita development indexed to the overall annual average of Bavaria,
Saxony and the Czech Republic. The BY-CZ graph is at a higher level, which means higher absolute
GDP/capita values. The SN-CZ border regions are far below the overall average and below the BY-
CZ average. A catching-up process can be observed until 2008. Until this year, the figure illustrates
a clear convergence. In combination with the results from figure 2, one can speak of an unconditional
β convergence. The crisis starts a process of divergence, which continues until 2018.
Figure 2 (left): GDP/capita growth for BY-CZ and SN-CZ;
Figure 3 (right): GDP/capita development of BY-CZ and SN-CZ in relation to mean BY-CZ-SN
Source: own processing 2021; Data: Eurostat 2021
In addition, the coefficient of variation provides information on the similarities and disparities. For
this analysis, we include all other Czech border regions. This enables a comparison between the
Czech-German border regions and the others. Therefore, Figure 4 shows the coefficient of variation
for all neighbouring countries of the Czech Republic including the two German states of Bavaria and
Saxony. All border pairs can be assigned to the following four convergence patterns:
1) σ-convergence
Both the entire Czech-German border area and the BY-CZ border pair show a strong σ-convergence
with its decreasing graphs. The two graphs run almost parallel. The financial crisis had only a small
impact on the ongoing convergence process. The graphs started at a high level in the year 2000 and
show strongly reduced disparities until 2018.
2) Mixture of σ-convergence and divergence
This group includes the SN-CZ border area and the border pair with Austria. Until the financial crisis,
both show a convergent development. The financial crisis initiated a divergent development, which
stops and reverses in 2014. Subsequently, both border pairs converge until 2018.
GDP/capita growth index, 2000=100
GDP/capita development index, Mean BY
3) Stable development
The graph of the PL-CZ border pair is at a very low level, which indicates low disparities. There are
hardly any changes in the graph over the years. The plot shows small fluctuations in both directions,
but no clear convergence or divergence trends.
4) σ-Divergence
Only one graph shows a persistent divergent development. The disparities in the Slovak-Czech border
pair increase. The financial crisis accelerates the divergence process. Only in 2013, a turnaround is
visible and a slight convergence process starts. However, it is not clear whether this will last. The
data indicate that the strongly growing Slovakian sub-regions are primarily responsible for this pattern
(growth rates >400%).
Figure 4: Coefficient of variation for Czech border regions
Source: own processing 2021; Data: Eurostat 2021
Finally, a comparison of the Czech-German regions confirms the heterogeneous picture. The small-
scale differentiation proves to be the appropriate approach and confirms the relevance of scale (cf.
Corrado et al., 2005; Dasí González et al., 2018; Neufeld, 2017). The Czech-German data and in
particular the BY-CZ border pair have the largest disparities at the beginning and show a strong
convergence process in the following years. More generally speaking, the convergence trends with
non-transformation areas (AT, BY) are stronger than those with transformation territories (SN, PL,
SK) in the early years. If we consider the overall time range, the data do not display differences with
regard to transformation processes.
From a comparative perspective on the international scale, the current disparities of the Czech-
German border regions position on an average level. This positive path has to be considered as a
Coefficient of variation
Border pair SK-CZ
Border pairs DE-CZ
Border pair BY-CZ
Border pair AT-CZ
Border pair SN-CZ
Border pair PL-CZ
successful development. The financial crisis shows geographically differentiated consequences. In
some regions, the crisis has obviously led to divergence processes. In other regions, however, the
crisis has hardly any influence.
NUTS-3 level is the smallest level for which area-wide, harmonised secondary data are available. It
can be assumed that a more diverse picture will emerge from a further examination on an even smaller
scale. Furthermore, the two main topics of this article, namely cohesion and resilience, can only be
analysed to a limited extent by quantitative measures. Further economic indicators are needed for a
more comprehensive picture, especially at the local level. Moreover, social or ecological indicators
are also necessary for a local analysis of crisis impacts. Each region is different, so individual sets of
indicators are also needed to examine resilience at the local level.
With regard to our research questions, we can conclude the following. The financial crisis had a rather
small and short term impact on the convergence path for the border pair BY-CZ and a clearer, negative
impact for the SN-CZ border pair. If calculated for the Czech-German border regions in total, the
impact is rather small, too. It is interesting to note that all Czech border pairs show different
convergence patterns that can be assigned to different categories. Compared to other Czech border
regions, the two border pairs with Germany show a rather clear convergence trend, but still clear
disparities, in particular for BY-CZ.
With regard to resilience, we can conclude the following: The border pair SN-CZ combines rather
low disparities after a strong convergence process with lower resistance. The border pair BY-CZ
comes along with higher disparities, also a strong convergence trend and a higher resistance.
This explorative study shows that both cohesion and resilience matter, but that both dimensions
are not coupled in a very tight way. It is necessary to conduct more comprehensive studies involving
more territories and data.
It remains to be seen what influence the current coronavirus crisis will have. Its extent is
unprecedented and will have a strong impact on cohesion (Monfort, 2020; Shehzad et al., 2020).
Obviously, good crisis management and a functioning governance structure across the border are
necessary to support the positive elements of cohesion and resilience in the Czech-German border
regions and beyond.
Artelaris, P. (2015). Local versus regime convergence regression models: a comparison of two
approaches. GeoJournal, 80(2), 263–277.
Bertram, D., Garkisch, J., Geiger, W., Haack, A., Hellwagner, T., Hippe, S., Lambracht, M.,
Müller, C., & Reizlein, J. (2019). Räumliche Integration: Das Beispiel der bayerischen
Grenzregionen zu Österreich und Tschechien. Working Paper No. 3 der AG
Regionalentwicklung an der FAU.
Bianchi, P., Giardino, R., Labory, S., Rinaldi, A., & Solinas, G. (2021). Regional resilience:
Lessons from a historical analysis of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Italy. Business History, 1–
Boe, P. de, Grasland, C., & Healy, A. (1999). Spatial integration, final report, Strand 1.4, Study
Programme on European Spatial Planning.
Böhm, H. (2021). The influence of the Covid-19 pandemic on Czech-Polish cross-border
cooperation: From debordering to re-bordering? Moravian Geographical Reports, 29(2), 137–
Bonß, W. (2016). The Notion of Resilience: Trajectories and Social Science Perspective. In A.
Maurer (Ed.), New perspectives on resilience in socio-economic spheres (pp. 9–24). Springer
Chilla, T., Sielker, F., Fráně, L., & Weber, J. (2018). Grenzüberschreitende Regionalentwicklung an
der bayerisch-tschechischen Grenze – die Suche nach den ‚richtigen‘ Kooperationsformen. In T.
Chilla & F. Sielker (Eds.), Arbeitsberichte der ARL: Vol. 23. Grenzüberschreitende
Raumentwicklung Bayerns: Dynamik in der Kooperation - Potenziale der Verflechtung
(Arbeitsberichte der ARL 23, pp. 72–89). Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung.
Christopherson, S., Michie, J., & Tyler, P. (2010). Regional resilience: theoretical and empirical
perspectives. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 3(1), 3–10.
Corrado, L., Martin, R., & Weeks, M. (2005). Identifying and Interpreting Regional Convergence
Clusters Across Europe. The Economic Journal, 115(502), C133-C160.
Dasí González, R. M., Montesinos Julve, V., & Vela Bargues, J. M. (2018). Towards convergence
of government financial statistics and accounting in Europe at central and local levels. Revista
De Contabilidad, 21(2), 140–149.
Di Caro, P. (2020). Quo vadis resilience? Measurement and policy challenges: using the case of
Italy. Edward Elgar Publishing.
European Commission. (2021). Grenzregionen in der EU: Reallabors der europäischen
European Parliament. (2021). Eurobarometer.
Evrard, E., & Chilla, T. (2021). EUropean (dis)integration: implications for the Cohesion Policy. In
EU Cohesion Policy and Spatial Governance. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Evrard, E., Nienaber, B., & Sommaribas, A. (2018). The Temporary Reintroduction of Border
Controls Inside the Schengen Area: Towards a Spatial Perspective. Journal of Borderlands
Studies, 2, 1–15.
Fedajev, A., Radulescu, M., Babucea, A. G., Mihajlovic, V., Yousaf, Z., & Milićević, R. (2021).
Has COVID-19 pandemic crisis changed the EU convergence patterns? Economic Research-
Ekonomska Istraživanja, 1–30.
Fingleton, B., Garretsen, H., & Martin, R. (2015). Shocking aspects of monetary union: the
vulnerability of regions in Euroland. Journal of Economic Geography, 15(5), 907–934.
Giacometti, A., Jukka Teräs, Liisa Perjo, Mari Wøien, H. Sigurjónsdóttir, & Tuulia Rinne (2018).
Regional Economic and Social Resilience: Conceptual Debate and Implications for Nordic
Goecke, H. (2013). Europa driftet auseinander: Ist dies das Ende der realwirtschaftlichen
Konvergenz? IW-Trends - Vierteljahresschrift zur empirischen Wirtschaftsforschung, 40(4), 67–
Goecke, H., & Hüther, M. (2016). Regional Convergence in Europe. Intereconomics, 51(3), 165–
Goolsbee, A., & Syverson, C. (2020). Fear, Lockdown, and Diversion: Comparing Drivers of
Pandemic Economic Decline 2020. Cambridge, MA.
Gräbner, C., Heimberger, P., & Kapeller, J. (2020). Pandemic pushes polarisation: the Corona crisis
and macroeconomic divergence in the Eurozone. Journal of Industrial and Business Economics,
47(3), 425–438.
Lara-Valencia, F., & García-Pérez, H. (2021). Las fronteras de la pandemia: lecciones para la
gobernanza y la cooperación en las ciudades de la frontera México-Estados Unidos. Estudios
Fronterizos, 22.
Liviu-Stelian, B., Silvia, S., & Oana, C. (2014). The Effect of Economic Crisis upon Convergence
and Cohesion in the European Union. Procedia Economics and Finance, 10, 150–157.
Loewen, B., & Schulz, S. (2019). Questioning the Convergence of Cohesion and Innovation
Policies in Central and Eastern Europe. In T. Lang & F. Görmar (Eds.), New Geographies of
Europe. Regional and Local Development in Times of Polarisation: Re-thinking Spatial Policies
in Europe (pp. 121–148). Springer Singapore.
Martin, R., & Sunley, P. (2015). On the notion of regional economic resilience: conceptualization
and explanation. Journal of Economic Geography, 15(1), 1–42.
Martin, R., & Sunley, P. (2020). Regional economic resilience: evolution and evaluation. Edward
Elgar Publishing; Edward Elgar Publishing.
Martinho, V. J. P. D. (2021). Impact of Covid‐19 on the convergence of GDP per capita in OECD
countries. Regional Science Policy & Practice. Advance online publication.
Monfort, P. (2020). Convergence of EU regions redux: Recent trends in regional disparities.
European Union Regional and Urban Policy Working Paper No 2/2020.
Neufeld, M. (2017). Eine Frage des Maßstabs? Zum Verhältnis von Kohäsion und Polarisierung in
Europa. Europa Regional, 23.2015(4), 15–29.
OECD. (2014). Guidelines for resilience systems analysis. https://www.oecd-
Pendall, R., Foster, K. A., & Cowell, M. (2010). Resilience and regions: Building understanding of
the metaphor. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 3(1), 71–84.
Prokkola, E.‑K. (2019). Border-regional resilience in EU internal and external border areas in
Finland. European Planning Studies, 27(8), 1587–1606.
Sensier, M., Bristow, G., & Healy, A. (2016). Measuring Regional Economic Resilience across
Europe: Operationalizing a complex concept. Spatial Economic Analysis, 11(2), 128–151.
Shehzad, K., Xiaoxing, L., & Kazouz, H. (2020). Covid-19's disasters are perilous than Global
Financial Crisis: A rumor or fact? Finance Research Letters, 36, 101669.
Contact information:
Stefan Hippe M.A., Prof. Dr. Tobias Chilla
Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute of Geography
Wetterkreuz 15, Erlangen, 91058, Germany
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Although regional resilience has been widely discussed in recent years, scholars recognise that there is little understanding of the determinants of the long-term adaptive capacity of regions. Policies for regional resilience have not been discussed at great length. This paper analyses industry evolution and industrial policies in a historical perspective, focussing on the case of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy, that in the 1980s drew wide attention as a successful case of flexible specialisation based on industrial districts and has experienced important transformations. It has also consistently implemented industrial policies since the 1980s, and we suggest they had a role in favouring the region’s resilience, especially in terms of the long-term vision of industrial development that this policy provides and promotes through various instruments.
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to social behaviours in Europe. One of its major consequences was the temporary closure of borders, which was introduced as a measure to prevent the uncontrolled pandemic spreading and involved internal Schengen borders. This has had a major impact in the way in which cross-border cooperation has been conducted in Europe, including the Czech-Polish borderland, as it dramatically restrained all flows across borders. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of the pandemic on five roles of cross-border cooperation: 1) as a multi-level governance form; 2) as a regional development tool; 3) as a para-diplomacy form; 4) as a post-conflict reconciliation tool; and 5) as Europe-building. We argue that the impacts of the pandemic complicated regional development and the Europe-building role of cross-border cooperation in the Czech-Polish borderland. The article envisages re-bordering processes also in the Czech-Polish borderland, but with important exceptions in the regions with a high level of cross-border integration, mainly in the Euroregion Těšínské Slezsko/Śląsk Cieszyński. The paper also calls for the elaboration of the guidelines for possible repeated (Schengen) border closures and proposes modifications of the INTERREG microprojects schemes, to keep them attractive also in times of expected cuts in public finances.
Full-text available
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, governments across the EU countries had to introduce measures to close the borders, restrict the movement of people, and suspend business activities in nones-sential sectors. These restrictions threatened to result in the worst economic shock since the Great Depression of the 1930s. This situation forced the EU leaders to quickly implement urgent measures in the form of stimulating packages in order to avoid a catastrophic economic collapse. The measures, however, have been implemented without coordination and insufficiently considering the solidarity principle among the Member States, which is one of the EU basic principles. In that way, the already existing gap in development among the EU economies has become even more pronounced, which will certainly have an impact on the convergence process in the EU. In that sense, this paper is aimed at analyzing the convergence process among the EU economies during the period from 2004 to 2020 and comparing differences among the EU member states during the pandemic crisis (in 2020) and the global economic crisis (in 2008). To define the policy recommendations for overcoming the crisis and for obtaining a satisfactory level of real convergence and nominal convergence, Hierarchical Agglomerative Clustering (HAC) was performed on the data for 2020 and five clusters were derived. ARTICLE HISTORY
Full-text available
Este artículo documenta y analiza la respuesta de las ciudades de la región fronte-riza México-Estados Unidos a la emergencia sanitaria y a un proceso sustancial de refronterización desencadenado por el COVID-19. Como muchos otros países, la estrategia principal de Estados Unidos y México para contener la propaga-ción del coronavirus ha sido la adopción de medidas de distanciamiento social y restricciones a la movilidad, incluyendo el cierre de la frontera común. Una implicación inmediata de este proceso es el reforzamiento de la presencia de los gobiernos nacionales en la gestión de la salud fronteriza y, potencialmente, la contracción de los espacios de gobernanza en los que participan tradicional-mente actores subnacionales. Mediante el análisis de datos secundarios de ocho pares de ciudades fronterizas contiguas, se examinan las respuestas de actores locales a la pandemia en el marco de un proceso acelerado de refronterización y se perfilan escenarios de gobernanza y cooperación trasfronteriza pospandemia.
Full-text available
This paper discusses the uneven consequences of the macroeconomic fallout from the Coronavirus and related economic policy responses against the background of an analysis of longer-term macroeconomic divergence in the Eurozone. We show that the macroeconomic impact of the Corona crisis is estimated to be more severe in Southern Eurozone countries than in Northern Eurozone countries, which further reinforces the tendency of an increasing economic polarisation. This polarisation process can be traced back to existing differences in production structures and uneven vulnerabilities of the underlying growth models. As a consequence, any policy response to the Corona crisis that does not take the deeper problems of structural polarisation into account will suffer from limited impact in the medium to long run.
Full-text available
Kohäsion - der wirtschaftliche, soziale und territoriale Zusammenhalt - ist das übergeordnete Ziel der europäischen Regionalpolitik. Prominent ist dabei der Gedanke der Konvergenz i. S. einer Reduzierung der Disparitäten hinsichtlich der regionalen Wirtschaftsleistung. Die Zielsetzung der Kohäsion erfolgt für die Europäische Union dabei - quasi naturgemäß - auf der gesamteuropäischen Ebene. Die nationale Ebene wird als Bezugsgröße dabei ausgeblendet. Was aus pan-europäischer Perspektive nachvollziehbar erscheint, ist auf der Ebene der Nationalstaaten jedoch nicht unerheblich. Kann die Entwicklung regionaler Disparitäten innerhalb der Staaten tatsächlich ignoriert werden? Der Beitrag analysiert die Entwicklung regionaler Disparitäten auf der europäischen und der nationalen Maßstabsebene und nimmt dabei das Konzept der Polarisierung in Bezug, das eine besondere Form der (räumlichen) Ungleichheit beschreibt. Im Ergebnis zeigt sich, dass das höchste Maß an (nationaler) Polarisierung in den mittel- und osteuropäischen Transformationenstaaten zu konstatieren ist. Hier fungieren die Hauptstadtregionen häufig als Triebfedern eines ökonomischen Aufholprozesses der jüngeren EU-Mitgliedsstaaten. Die Annäherung zwischen den Staaten und Regionen auf europäischer Ebene geht jedoch einher mit einer räumlichen Polarisierung innerhalb der Staaten. Die Bewertung von Kohäsion und Polarisierung in Europa wird damit in hohem Maße zu einer Frage des betrachteten Maßstabs. Economic, social and territorial cohesion is the overall goal of EU regional policy. Here, the idea of convergence is most prominent, focusing on a reduction of regional disparities of economic performance. This goal is implemented on the pan-European scale, ignoring the nation states as a possible scale of reference. This might make sense from a European-wide view. However, it is not irrelevant for the member states: can regional disparities within countries really be passed over? The paper at hand analyses the development of regional disparities on the pan-European and the national scale, taking into account the concept of polarization which describes a specific type of (spatial) inequality. As a result, transforming countries in Eastern Europe show the highest degree of polarization. Here, capitol metropolitan regions are the driving forces of catching-up-processes of younger EU member states. Hence, convergence between countries and regions on the European scale goes along with strong polarization processes on the nation state level. Accordingly, issues of cohesion and polarization are to a high degree a question of scale regarded
Full-text available
European border regions have witnessed a long history of remarkable mobility shocks stemming from complex ecological and economic changes and geopolitical events. The experience of near-continuous regional and global crisis has increased interest towards the idea of resilience, that is, the ability of communities and regions to adapt and cope with disturbances and transitions. Inspired by the literature of regional resilience and the evolutionary approach, this paper will examine the difference that borders and geopolitical conditions make from the perspective of regional resilience and especially ‘border-regional resilience’. Particular focus will be on irregular cross-border mobilities and consequent transitions in EU external and internal border towns, here the Finnish towns of Lappeenranta and Tornio. The study points out that the geopolitical environment and the openness of the border partly determine the regional development trajectories and the ways of coping with cross-border mobility-related changes. Although the border location entails some vulnerability, formal and informal cross-border institutions and relations of trust are of crucial importance from the perspective of border-regional resilience. The paper proposes a research agenda for studying border-regional resilience in the context of environmental, economic and social changes and geopolitical events.
In our turbulent and uncertain economic age, it is not hard to understand the appeal of resilience, a term invoked to describe how an entity or system responds to shocks and disturbances. Although the concept has been used for some time in ecology and psychology, it is now invoked in diverse contexts, both as a perceived (and typically positive) attribute of an object, entity or system and, more normatively, as a desired feature that should somehow be promoted or fostered. The notion of resilience has rapidly become part of the conceptual and analytical lexicon of regional and local economic studies: there is increasing interest in the resilience of regional, local and urban economies. Further, resilience is having a discernible impact on policy thinking: a new imperative of ‘constructing’ or ‘building’ regional and urban economic resilience is gaining currency. However, despite its popularity and influence, our understanding of the concept in economic geography still requires development. There is still considerable ambiguity about what, precisely, is meant by the notion of regional economic resilience, about how it should be conceptualized and measured, what its determinants are, and how it links to patterns of long-run regional growth. The aims of this chapter are to show how the meanings and explanation of regional economic resilience have changed and evolved, and evaluate the progress and limits of these debates. We thereby aim to outline the directions of a research agenda.
Our paper paves the way for discussing the significance of EUropean disintegration in relation to EU cohesion policy. It relies on an interdisciplinary literature review outlining how geography and political science grasp the concepts of EUropean integration and disintegration. This review is being undertaken to operationalise a reflective framework to enable an understanding of key aspects entangled with (dis)integration. The reintroduction of border controls between 2015 and 2019 is one of the most concrete facets of disintegration. The analytical framework explores disintegration tendencies emerging from border controls on an exploratory level. This paper argues that disintegration is not simply ‘integration in reverse’ and suggests aspects for investigation. The paper concludes by outlining a series of fundamental questions for cohesion policy.
This investigation employed the Asymmetric Power GARCH model and found that COVID-19 substantially harms the US and Japan's market returns. Moreover, COVID-19 has influenced the variance of the US, Germany, and Italy's stock markets more than the Global Financial Crises (GFC). However, GFC indicated a more significant impact on the financial volatility of the Nikkei 225 index and SSEC than COVID-19. The study confirmed the leverage effect for the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite Index, DAX 30, Nikkei 225, FTSE MIB, and SSEC. The analysis authenticated that the health crisis that befell due to COVID-19 have imperatively originated the financial crisis globally; however, the Asian markets still make available better prospects for portfolio optimization.