EU‐Russia cross‐border cooperation in the 21st century: turning marginality into competitive advantage


Nikolai Bobylev (Saint-Peterburg State University, Russia) 
Sebastien Gadal (Aix‐Marseille Université, France)
Viktar Kireyeu (Saint-Peterburg State University, Russia)
Aleksander Sergunin (Saint-Peterburg State University, Russia) 


This paper aims to examine how Russian north‐western regions and municipalities use their marginal/border position as a resource to build a sustainable development strategy. Theoretically, this study is based on the marginality theory which states that border or remotely located subnational units are able to turn their marginality from disadvantage to a resource and transform themselves from depressed and provincial territories to attractive places hosting intense international flows of goods, services, capital, technologies and people. A number of venues for the EU‐Russia cross‐border cooperation are explored: the European Neighborhood Instrument, Northern Dimension partnerships, Euroregions and city‐twinning. The authors conclude that despite some problems with establishing a proper division of labor between above programs and project implementation cross‐border cooperation proved to be a valuable instrument not only for successful development of the marginal/border actors but also for establishing mutual trust and collaborative relations between Russia and neighboring EU countries.


Bobyev, N., Gadal, S., Kireyeu, V., Sergunin, A. EU‐Russia cross‐border co‐operation in the twenty‐first century: Turning marginality into competitive advantage. Reg Sci Policy Pract. Vol. 12. Issue 5. Special Issue: Spatial Resilience and the Border Regions of Europe. Pp. 847-865.