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Bridge or Iron Curtain? Local Hungarian and Ukrainian Perceptions of a New European Union Border

Istvan Blacsok, Laszlo Dancs, Gabor Koncz

Abstract


The purpose of this contribution is to describe the characteristics, intensity and the different forms of cross-border relations along the Hungarian-Ukrainian borderline, which became the external border of the European Union on May 1st, 2004. The article does not simply illustrate the current situation, but tries to present the main tendencies of co-operation after the change of regime in 1990. The study summarizes the effects of the EU enlargement based on the results of questionnaires and interviews completed on both sides of the Hungarian-Ukrainian border. In the course of research the authors concentrated on the opportunities of transborder connections of the people living near the border, especially focusing on temporal changes of cross-border traffic and its reasons, the legal and illegal spheres of commercial and other relations that basically determine the subsistence of the people in that region. Furthermore, the authors emphasize the main issues bothering the ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia, such as crossing the border or the radical changes of the regulation determining the conditions of residence, learning, employment, etc. in Hungary.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229

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