Östersjöområdet : Studier av interaktion och barriärer

Sammanfattning: The geopolitical transformation after 1989 had radical territorial consequences in almost all parts of East-Central Europe. In the Baltic Sea Area alone, five new states were formed. The process of European integration became a priotity on the agenda. The concept of integration describes a process of uniting two or more entities. Interaction (flows of goods, people and messages) must be seen as a necessary prerequisite for integration to occur. These flows, the materiality of integration, are the main objects of this study. This thesis focuses on the process of integration in the Baltic Sea Area. The purpose of the study is to map and to analyse the patterns of interaction that have emerged in the Baltic Sea Area after 1991. The main concepts underpinning the analysis are territories, barriers and systems of cities. Interaction between major city regions, not between territorial states, is studied. In this study the main empirical material is taken from aviation, more specifically, passenger flows. Aviation is regionally based, and an important form of interaction that will give a reasonably good picture of general patterns of interaction The process of integration that takes place in the Baltic Sea Area can not be viewed as one coherent process. Instead, it ought to be discussed in terms of several different processes, of which not all point in the same direction. A considerable parts of the developments in the Baltic Sea Area is interpreted in terms of a process of internationalisation. However, clear signs of cross border integration is visible, mainly between the Nordic countries and the Baltic states, most strongly between Estonia on the one hand and Finland and Sweden on the other. Another pattern is the declining interaction between Russia and the rest of the area, that implies growing disintegration especially in connection to the Baltic states. Based on this study of aviation in the Baltic Sea Area it is possible to interpret the processes of internationalisation and integration in the area as taking place within four different, but connected, sub-systems: The Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia/ the former Soviet Union, Germany and Poland. The leading cities in the four subsystems have an important position within these systems. International in- and outgoing interaction is to a large extent channeled through these city regions. As a consequence the main flows from Poland are channeled through Warsaw to the main regions in Western Europe – “leap frogging” eastern Germany and the Berlin region, German traffic flows gravitates towards Frankfurt, traffic from the Baltic states towards the Nordic capitals and Russian traffic is centered on Moscow. The tendencies towards integration in the Baltic Sea Area may not seem to be very strong, but the developments in the 1990´s do represent significant progress in comparison to the situation during the Cold War.

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