CoBo – Cohesion in Border Regions

Border regions of Germany with its neighbouring countries


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CoBo in the media


The CoBo-project

Many facets of European cohesion are particularly evident at Europe’s internal borders. The CoBo project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, examines the organisation of cohesion in border regions and explores existing potentials. Cross-border integration and regional prosperity are indeed achievements of cooperation at various levels. Nevertheless, barriers and peripheral locations continue to play a role despite the European integration process. In addition, increasing eurosceptic tendencies can be observed in recent times. Against this background, the question arises as to how the progress achieved in cross-border cohesion can be maintained and, if possible, continued.

In the first step, the project analyses the current developments and prospects of German border regions and positions them in a comparative perspective both among themselves and in a Europe-wide view. Both, socio-economic development and governance settings, are included. The two perspectives are brought together in an overall potential analysis.

The subsequent strategy phase serves firstly to deepen the insights in a transdisciplinary manner, secondly to deal with future developments in border regions and their effects on territorial cohesion in a forward-looking manner, and thirdly to derive corresponding recommendations for the various political levels. The actors from the border regions will be involved in this process.

The project’s practical partners play a central role in this project as they are involved throughout the project’s duration (Association of European Border Regions as well as the responsible departments in the Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building and the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development).

The IMP-HSG Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) supports the project with regard to steering approaches of cross-border spatial development, especially in the field of institutional-political analyses and the connection with concrete instruments of cross-border spatial development.



Project team


  • Hippe, S., Bertram, D. & T. Chilla (2023): Convergence and Resilience in border regions. European Planning Studies. DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2023.2170214
  • Hippe, S., Bertram, D. & T. Chilla (2022): The COVID-19 pandemic as a catalyst for cross-border cooperation? Lessons learnt for border-regional resilience. Europa XXI, 43, 1. DOI:
  • Chilla, T. & M. Lambracht (2022): Institutional mapping of cross-boder cooperation. INTERREG programme analyses with KEEP data, European Planning Studies. DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2022.2058321
  • Chilla, T., T. Große, S. Hippe, & B. B. Walker (2022): COVID-19 Incidence in Border Regions: Spatiotemporal Patterns and Border Control Measures. Public Health 202: 80–83. DOI:
  • Hippe, S., & T. Chilla (2021). Cohesion and Resilience in Czech-German Border Regions: The Impacts of Crises. In Z., Kresa (Hrsg.). Opportunities and Threats to Current Business Management in Cross-border Comparison 2021 (S. 68-78). Chemnitz: GUC. Online.