By definition borderlines define the ends and limits of state intervention. From the political point of view, they limit their sovereignty and help to distinguish between "us and them" thus providing a sense of belonging. They are also seen as barriers, preventing or hindering the movement of people and goods, acting therefore as factors that negatively affect regional economies. The ongoing process of globalization and the increase in trade and mobility on a global scale are changing the role and significance of border regions. All over the world orders are undergoing distinct processes. In some cases, such as de‐bordering, being seen as opportunities more than as barriers (like the case of the border between the Mercosul partners), in other cases they are still being reinforced and are strongly militarized and conflicting, or just controlled because of a specific situation (like the case between Mexico and the USA). Sometimes even if they have disappeared they still persist in the perceptions of the people who have lived in these places for a long time, as the language, the culture or religion serve as a reminder that they still exist. On the other hand, while ICTs are contributing towards the de‐bordering of the world easing contacts and global flows at the urban scale, the sociospatial segregation motivates a re‐bordering process based on the diffusion of condominiums that can only be accessed by a few citizens.
In Europe, borders are on the front line of each great challenge that is put to Europe’s future, namely administering diversity while maintaining cohesion. The process of de‐bordering is right to be stimulated, and border regions are becoming the specific object of policies, aiming for greater economic social and territorial cohesion, recognizing in this the importance of cooperation.
This congress does not aim to merely gather together researchers and academics who work in the issues of borders and cross‐border cooperation, but also social actors and institutions that are directly (and daily) involved in cross‐border cooperation, implementing projects and solving problems, providing therefore a broad and multidisciplinary discussion.