Creating Cross-Border Destinations. Interreg Programmes and Regionalisation in the Baltic Sea Area

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


European Union financed Interreg programmes focusing on cross-border region building form an important part of the EU integration policy. The region building processes involve many fields of action in which destination development is one. In this article, the latest finished programme, Interreg III, will be highlighted with special focus on cross-border regions in the Baltic Sea Area. The purpose is to analyse how regional identities are re-presented and re-negotiated in connection with cross-border tourism destination development. These questions are analysed with the help of a methodology based on storylines using three selected programme regions as case studies. In our analysis we have found three storylines that in different ways enlighten our understanding of these regions' (actual and possible) political identities: the notion of borders, the practice of history and the future-oriented visions. The study reveals the presence of two fundamental and contradictory visions grounded in the European project: regionalisation and internationalisation. It also shows that the cross-border region co-operation processes share a narrative characterised by liberal economic rationality. Political issues are downplayed in relation to economic issues, even though in the case of tourism political issues like regional identity are not possible to avoid.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • European integration, Baltic Sea Area, cross-border regions, Interreg programmes, regional identities, destination development
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-172
JournalScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch