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    STUDIA EUROPAEA - Issue no. 1 / 2014  

Authors:  .
  Abstract:   The borders of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) today are the result of a complex process conducted decades after the fall of communist regimes in this part of Europe. With the opening towards the west, with the change of political and economic regimes came the implementation of democratic reforms of CEE societies and this led to the beginning of a complex integration process. The latter is undoubtedly associated with profound changes in the form and role of borders between states and the new Western partners. The old barriers open, the borders become increasingly soft. Old movement restrictions are removed. The main idea of the integration process is not to settle barriers, but to attenuate them. From this perspective, internal borders become more and more inclusive and less visible. Security and border traffic control are transferred to external borders that become more and more exclusive, more restrictive if we respect the logic above. Such a theory is valid up to a point. Internal borders do not simply become more open, more inclusive; there is an integration process taking place in steps. The EU external border greatly expanded eastward, and in this context the old borders have become simple internal borders. Associated to an integration process, we find a process of dilution to the disappearance of internal borders with the Schengen space integration (old borders remain expressions of sovereignty, the national limits no longer serve to separate people, goods and capital).

Keywords: Europa, frontiers, enlargement, European Union, NATO, Euro, Shengen, identity, culture, Europeanism, good neighbourhood, crossborder cooperation
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