Search for: [Abstract = "A basic research topic taken up within the framework of border studies concerns the function of political borders, as well as changes therein over time. As a matter of special importance is then the location of border crossing points and the character of their immediate surroundings, much depends on the analysis of transformations these areas undergo, in line with shifting formal and legal circumstances, as well as in terms of infrastructure and socio\-economic conditions. Poland’s 2007 accession to the EU’s Schengen Agreement obviously had a number of major consequences in this respect, not least along the Polish\-German border where border posts underwent formal liquidation, and the border could theoretically be crossed along its entire length. The rules applying to an internal Schengen border are known to favour spatial development in border areas, as permeability increases and there may be a long\-term trend for the role of a border as a barrier to decline. Notably, the local dimension would seem to be of great importance to the achievement of practical effects \(Bufon, 2008\). The work detailed here has had as its main aims the identification of the spatial\-\-development features characterising crossings along the Polish\-German border, and the analysis of economic activity in their immediate vicinity, under the circumstances of a now\-open internal border within the Schengen Area. The analysis covered areas surrounding the formal border crossings abolished on 21.12.2007, as well as new places in which organised crossings began to take place \(along roads, walking or cycle paths or railway lines\). This scope of interest led to a field inventory of 47 areas on both the Polish and German sides, at which a border crossing was made possible by roads \(n = 29\), or along cycle or walking paths \(n = 18\). Data obtained allowed for an identification of key regularities as regards the maintenance of border infrastructure, the reuse of the buildings of former border posts, road infrastructure, and numbers and type structure where operating companies were concerned. The newly\-created border\-crossing points were mainly seen to locate along the section of border between Pargów and the coast of the Szczecin Lagoon, as well as in the Świnoujście area \(where the boundary does not run along rivers\).Interestingly, use was being made of only half the former border\-post buildings, on both the Polish and German sides. Where new designations of activity were present, a degree of diversification was visible. Our results show clearly how difficult it may still prove to introduce new functions in the reality of an open, internal Schengen Area border. The study offers grounds for a perhaps\-surprising conclusion that, given the conditions under which the Polish\-German border still functions, a formal status as open does not preclude significant limitations still being imposed on the possibilities for borderland integration, in a spatial context in particular."]

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