Bridging Boundaries at the edge: Cross-border Cooperation and Regional Development in the Republic of Moldova

Stella Kostopoulou, Olesea Sirbu


Cross-border cooperation at the European Union’s external borders aims to reduce the socio-economic disparities between border regions of member-states and those of neighbouring countries. While EU cross-border cooperation appeared already in the 1950s and has developed into a variety of institutionalised forms, the current situation is rather peculiar, due to large differences in the economic development and political sys- tems of neighbouring countries.

This paper analyses the influence of the European Union’s cross-border cooperation strategy and investigates the potential impact of the Euroregions towards the Republic of Moldova in an attempt to evidence the opportunities for its re- gional development.

In Moldova, regional disparities were reinforced during the transition period, stressing the core-periphery opposition between the capital city and the rest of the country. Main regional development problems relate to the lack of regional planning strategies, public governance regionalisation and local public financing policies. The paper seeks to develop an answer to the question of whether EU’s cross-border cooperation and emerging Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership could act as the effective mechanisms to resolve problems related to Moldova’s internal policies and motivate the ‘Europeanisation’ of the country, in the sense of its regional transformation.


Regional development; Cross-border; Euroregions; Moldova

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