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1. Project summary

With the concept generally known as Wider Europe, the European Union has mapped out an ambitious vision of regional "Neighbourhood" that "goes beyond co-operation to involve a significant measure of integration". Furthermore, the EU sees this new quality of regional interaction and partnership as bringing "enormous gains to all involved in terms of increased stability, security and well being".

EUDIMENSIONS seeks to understand the implications of these emerging geopolitical contexts for crossborder co-operation and political relationships between the EU and neighbouring states. More specifically, we will scrutinise the development of a Wider European political community as manifested by co-operation initiatives and changing political discourses that relate communities and groups to each other across national and EU borders. EUDIMENSIONS will perform this task by analysing cooperation processes of civil society organisations and the multilevel contexts within which they operate. Case studies will focus both on specific communities and crossborder co-operation networks that often transcend local, regional and national levels in order to advance their agendas. In terms of substantive cooperation areas the project will focus on regional, social and political development as well as the environmental issues. Particular attention will be paid to social, cultural and gender-related issues that have not received sufficient attention in studies of crossborder co-operation.

2. Project objective(s)

a. To better understand the implications of new European geopolitical contexts for crossborder civil society interaction

b. To analyse civil society co-operation processes, the multilevel contexts within which they operate and the role of the EU in conditioning these relationships within the Neighbourhood

c. To investigate the extent to which meaningful forms of conflict prevention, problem-solving and collective action are emerging at the EU' s new "outer edges"

d. To understand how social knowledge and power can be mobilised as positive resources for regional co-operation and development (e.g. in terms of good practices)

e. To understand how the integrative role of the EU can be enhanced within the wider "Neighbourhood" through discourses, policies and supporting measures

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