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Cross-border metropolitan integration in Europe (Luxembourg, Basel and Geneva)


  • Sohn, Christophe

    (Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies (CEPS/INSTEAD), Luxembourg)

  • Reitel, Bernard

    (University of Upper Alsace, France)

  • Walther, Olivier

    (Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies (CEPS/INSTEAD), Luxembourg)


This article questions the integration processes in three small cross-border metropolitan areas: Luxembourg, Basel and Geneva. By referring to an original analysis framework, it evaluates the nature and intensity of the functional and institutional integration and highlights the elements that structure the cooperation between the actors. The analysis shows that there is not necessarily a reciprocal link between the size of the functional area and the extent of the cooperation. Whilst no metropolitan-sized project is on the agenda in Luxembourg, the example of Basel and Geneva shows that the presence of a national border offers an opportunity to invent original forms of governance, increase the autonomy of the local authorities by different types of cooperation which transcend the institutional and territorial divides, and enable the international character of the metropolitan centre to be valued for what it is. In a context of global competition, these features represent an undeniable benefit.

Suggested Citation

  • Sohn, Christophe & Reitel, Bernard & Walther, Olivier, 2009. "Cross-border metropolitan integration in Europe (Luxembourg, Basel and Geneva)," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-02, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2009-02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pi Alperin, Maria Noel, 2008. "A comparison of multidimensional deprivation characteristics between natives and immigrants in Luxembourg," IRISS Working Paper Series 2008-14, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
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    6. Neocleous, Tereza & Portnoy, Stephen, 2008. "A Partially Linear Censored Quantile Regression Model for Unemployment Duration," IRISS Working Paper Series 2008-07, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
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    11. Antonio Abatemarco, 2010. "Measuring inequality of opportunity through between-group inequality components," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(4), pages 475-490, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Van Kerm, 2013. "Generalized measures of wage differentials," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 465-482, August.
    2. Kristina Zumbusch & Roland Scherer, 2015. "Cross-Border Governance: Balancing Formalized and Less Formalized Co-Operations," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-21, July.
    3. Fricke, Carola, 2014. "Grenzüberschreitende Governance in der Raumplanung: Organisations- und Kooperationsformen in Basel und Lille," Arbeitsberichte der ARL: Aufsätze,in: Nimm's sportlich - Planung als Hindernislauf, pages 62-78 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.
    4. NELLES Jennifer, 2011. "Cooperation in Crisis? An Analysis of Cross-Border Intermunicipal Relations in the Detroit-Windsor Region," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-30, LISER.
    5. REITEL Bernard, 2011. "La frontière internationale, objet sémique, processus multidimensionnel, interface signifiante," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-43, LISER.

    More about this item


    Metropolitan regions ; Governance ; Border studies ; Integration ; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
    • P41 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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