Challenges at EU’s North-East external borders

The project aims at scrutinising the challenges at EU’s North-East external borders that have emerged due to the new geopolitical realities. The research will address the impacts of the Russian aggression war in Ukraine and the EU response to it as of early 2022. It will identify, map and analyse the economic and social consequences that the new geopolitical context has set on the four EU north-eastern external land border regions, namely, South Karelia in Finland, Ida-Viru in Estonia, Latgale in Latvia and Euroregion “Country of Lakes” in Lithuania. The study will focus on the ruptured business, touristic and cultural ties, and mobility connections with the bordering areas of the Russian Federation and Belarus, which exacerbate the already severe depopulation and investment challenges in the peripheral areas of the EU. These have resulted in the loss of opportunities in economic and social development, inter alia due to the suspended EU funding for cross-border development. The study aims at capturing this loss and proposing alternatives to the future growth of the regions. The consortium is led by Spatial Foresight. The partners are the University of Eastern Finland and Nordeval in Finland and Safege Baltija in the Baltic States. A data journalist Maarten Lambrechts complements the research team by visualising and presenting the research findings in an easy-to-grasp way while the Baltic Security Fund ensures the defence and security dimension is properly considered.


Client: ESPON

Duration: July 2024 - September 2025

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