This volume brings together contributions of academics and researchers from Southeastern European countries dealing with the issue of regional development and cross-border cooperation. Southeastern European states are characterized by intense regional disparities with respect to welfare levels, unemployment, economic and social infrastructure and various forms of business performance. In several countries disparities have increased considerably, leaving behind rural, peripheral and border regions. This development deteriorates the existing asymmetries of the Balkans, which is the least developed and most fragmented macro-region in Europe, with the poorest transition performance and the weaker economic structure.
In many cases, less advanced regions are located in border areas, requiring a combination of regional and cross-border cooperation policies in order to achieve economic development. Cross-border cooperation is a multi-dimensional process, enveloping cooperative activities in many spheres and among many different actors, which is a critical condition for most Balkan countries for their development and their accession to the European Union.
The volume consists of two parts. The first part is dealing with issues of regional development. It analyzes the type and degree of the problem and discusses policy issues at the local or regional level. The second part focuses on cross-border cooperation in Southeastern Europe, which was very limited in the recent past, due to institutional, cultural, political and economic constraints.