An­na La­u­ra Hidegh – An­na Er­zsé­bet Mik­lós On Euro-re­gions from Slovak-Hungarian Point of View

In the Europe of the 21st C, be­ing along the bor­der, togeth­er with all its ques­tions and issues – although hope­ful­ly for a short time to be so – is a con­cept that can­not be evad­ed. The his­tor­i­cal changes given by the pre­vi­ous cen­tu­ry, and/or the Euro­pean Union inte­gra­tion that has become mo­re and mo­re inten­sive ori­ent the atten­tion to this issue.

Cross-bor­der co-­op­er­a­tion that arise from the issue of be­ing sit­u­at­ed along the bor­der is rea­soned with a num­ber of fac­tors in Cen­tral and East Europe: from one hand the ten­den­cie valid for the whole Euro­pean con­ti­nen­t, on the other hand the spec­i­fi­ca­tions cre­at­ed due to the his­tor­i­cal events.
It can be gen­er­al­ly said from the point of view of the whole Europe that there are cer­tain eco­nom­ic, and/or envi­ron­men­tal phe­nom­e­na that know no bor­der­s. In order to use resources effec­tive­ly, to cre­ate labour divi­sion, and con­se­quent­ly to cre­ate com­pete­tive­ness it is nec­es­sary for cer­tain geo­graph­i­cal units that cross bor­ders to co-­op­er­ate.
We have con­sid­ered impor­tant now, in 2006, to talk about the euro-re­gion­s, since the impor­tance of their mis­sion has only been grow­ing in the last peri­od. From May 2004 the East­ern and South­ern bor­ders of Hun­ga­ry became the outer bor­ders of the Euro­pean Union. In 2007 Hun­ga­ry becomes part of the Schen­gen Agree­men­t. All these changes have effect main­ly in rela­tion with Roma­nia and Ukraine, in which coun­tries a large nub­mer of Hun­gar­i­an minori­ties live, and where keep­ing con­tacts is of high impor­tance.
In our study, we chose mem­ber state of the Union, for illus­tra­tion. Hun­ga­ry has six exist­ing euro-re­gion­al co-­op­er­a­tion with Slo­va­ki­a, the most of them are from the neig­bour­ing coun­tries. We intend to show euro-re­gion­al co-­op­er­a­tion through analysing the co-­op­er­a­tion of the Vág–Duna–Ipoly euro-re­gion (VDI). The study begins with out­lin­ing the­o­ret­i­cal frame­work, explain­ing the mean­ing of the state of be­ing sit­u­at­ed along the bor­der and region­al­is­m, con­se­quent­ly we exam­ine that the oper­a­tional lim­its that are gen­er­al­ly char­ac­ter­is­tic for euro-re­gions are how rel­e­vant in rela­tion with the Vág–Duna–Ipoly euro-re­gion con­sid­er­ing the local con­di­tion­s.
Sum­maris­ing the expe­ri­ence achived dur­ing the exam­i­na­tion of the Vág–Duna–Ipoly euro-re­gion a few state­ments can be said that recent­ly char­ac­terise the euro-re­gion. The coun­ties in the VDI are in com­par­i­son of their ter­ri­to­ri­al size, are too big, the inter­ests of dif­fer­ent local gov­ern­ments are dif­fer­en­t, the rate of nec­es­sary devel­op­ment of cer­tain ter­ri­to­ries is dif­fer­en­t, there­fore it is dif­fi­cult to cre­ate com­pre­hen­sive pro­ject­s, only the pro­vi­sion of local pro­grams is rel­e­van­t.
The ma­in fac­tor for moti­vat­ing VDI cre­ation is to take up minor­i­ty that found itself on the other side of the bor­der, that is char­ac­ter­is­tic of euro-re­gions sit­u­at­ed gen­er­al­ly in Cen­tral Europe. Con­se­quent­ly, for the first peri­od of co-­op­er­a­tion the pro­mo­tion of cul­tur­al cus­toms is char­ac­ter­is­tic, but ini­tia­tives ori­ent­ed on eco­nom­ic co-­op­er­a­tion have also arised. The sec­ond ma­in moti­vat­ing fac­tor is the oppor­tu­ni­ty for com­pet­ing for the sources of the Union. From the advan­tages given by the euro-re­gion­al divi­sion, the most impor­tant one is financ­ing ter­ri­to­ry devel­op­ment pol­i­cy. Although the most con­di­tions necess­sary for the good func­tion­ing are set, on the basis of expe­ri­ence, there have been no Slovak-Hungarian cross-bor­der col­lab­o­ra­tion made on micro lev­el, the Vág–Duna–Ipoly euro-re­gion is still in the state of look­ing for its way.