The Baltic Region

2019 Vol. 11 №4

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The changing role of border regions in the regional policies of the EU and Russia



This article analyses how the role of border regions has changed in the regional policies of Russia and European countries since the early 1990s. The study aims to estimate the efficiency of Russia’s regional policy with regard to border regions (its completeness, a focus on actual problems, etc.) and to compare it with that of European counterparts. The article relies on publications on the experience of EU countries, earlier contributions from Russian researchers, federal regulations, and statistics on the regional distribution of federal investment in fixed assets. It is shown that the federal border region policy is largely a reflection of the features and problems of Russia’s regional policy as a whole. Currently, the development of cross-border cooperation is affected more strongly by national security concerns than by economic growth considerations. Cross-border cooperation is no longer part of the regional policy. Border regions, however, have received an increasing proportion of federal investments in recent years, particularly, amid the reunification with the Crimea. The study calls for better coordination between different areas of the federal socio-economic policy on border regions and closer attention to border regions’ foreign economic ties, particularly, within the implementation of the Strategy for the Spatial Development of the Russian Federation.