Carmen Gebhard, Overview: The Geo-Political Terminology Used in this Study in:

Carmen Gebhard

Unravelling the Baltic Sea Conundrum, page 27 - 27

Regionalism and European Integration Revisited

1. Edition 2008, ISBN print: 978-3-8329-4084-3, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-1239-5

Series: Nomos Universitätsschriften - Politik, vol. 164

Bibliographic information
27 denominate the former Russian provinces of Estonia, Livonia and Courland.40 Today, the collective label of ‘Baltic States’ as the ‘Baltic Three’ is not always appreciated by the concerning states themselves as it does not comply with their specific historical consciousness and geopolitical self-identification.41 IV. Overview: The Geo-Political Terminology Used in this Study As so many terminologies are in use to structure the region and denominate certain parts of it, it seems important at this point, to clarify the terminology I am applying in the course of this study. Nordic Countries Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland Northern Europe European Russia, Northern Germany, Northern Poland, Scandinavia, Baltic States Scandinavia Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland Scandinavian Baltic Sweden, Denmark and Finland Baltic Sea States Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Finland Baltic Sea Region Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, European Russia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the German Länder of Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein, Niedersachsen (Regierungsbezirk Lüneburg)42 Table 1: The Geo-Political Terminology Applied in this Study B. Northern Europe – Some General Characteristics and Features I. BSR Specificities and Sensitivities In the last two decades, the geopolitical situation in the Baltic Sea area has changed drastically. The most important break in recent BSR history was certainly the fall of the east-west divide in 1989/90 – or as Sander called it – the “fall of the Baltic Wall”, involving independence for the Baltic States, the reunification of Germany and the conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia.43 As from a geostrategic point of view, the specific importance of the BSR has been traditionally related to its unclear and therefore problematic Eastern delimitation.44 40 See MEDIJAINEN Eero: The Baltic Question in the Twentieth Century. Historiographic Aspects. In: AMELANG James S./BEER Siegfried (eds): Public Power in Europe. Studies in Historical Transformations. Pisa 2006, pp. 109-124, here p. 112. 41 See CAVE Andrew: Finding a Role in an Enlarged EU. In: Central Europe Review, Nr. 20. 22 May 2000. Online publication [26 November 2007]. See chapter “The Baltic States and Baltic Unity – Imposition or Expedient?”, p. 67-. 42 This geographical definition of the BSR is also employed in the framework of EU structural initiatives (e.g. INTERREG). 43 See SANDER Gordon: Off Centre. Baltic hands link across a troubled sea. In: Financial Times, 8 April 2000. 44 See DELLENBRANT Jan Åke: The Baltic Sea Co-operation. Visions and Realities. In: BALDERSHEIM Harald/STÅHLBERG Krister (eds): Nordic Region-Building in a European Perspective. Aldershot 1999, pp. 83-97, here p. 85.

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Seit 1989 ist es im Ostseeraum zu einer explosionsartigen Entstehung einer Vielzahl von regionalen Initiativen und Zusammenschlüssen gekommen. Der Ostseeraum weist bis heute eine europaweit einzigartig hohe Konzentration an kooperativen regionalen Strukturen auf. Diese bilden gemeinsam ein enges Netzwerk von Vereinigungen, die unter dem Überbegriff der "Ostseezusammenarbeit’ interagieren.

Diese Studie analysiert die Hintergründe dieses regionalen Phänomens oder so genannten „Ostsee-Rätsels“ auf Basis eines Vergleichs zwischen den Regionalpolitiken zweier staatlicher Schlüsselakteure, Schweden und Finnland, wobei der europäische Integrationsprozess als übergeordneter Bezugsrahmen für die Untersuchung dient.