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Abstract

Baltic Europe, i.e. the sea and inland hinterland, form a unique macro-regional unit. Strong collaboration links as well as competition in the Baltic Sea Region are an inherent feature of the region from the beginnings of its civilization development. The article shows the forty-year-long Baltic integration process and the Polish scientific contribution to the process. Since 2004, the Baltic has become an internal EU sea. This fact no doubt strengthened cooperation of the countries around the Baltic Sea. In many spheres, these ties take the form of networking. An important stimulus for further integrations is the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Political stabilisation and economic development may transform, in a longer time span, the emerging transnational Baltic Europe into a new economic and cultural European centre.
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Abstract

The Dilemmas of the Kaliningrad Oblast Today. The Kaliningrad Oblast is a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea neighbouring with the EU countries of Poland and Lithuania. On one hand, the Oblast belongs to the Russian political, economic and defence area, and on the other, it is separated from other parts of the Russian Federation. This specific location affects the nature of the local economy, the dependence on import and a drive towards cooperating with countries abroad. The economic situation of the Kaliningrad Oblast is strictly related to the economic situation of the remaining parts of Russia. Kaliningrad is subject to principles established by the federal centre, and Moscow decides about the most important issues of the region. At the same time, the Oblast makes efforts to provide conditions for social and economic development comparable to the development standards of neighbouring countries. The residents of the Oblast can be characterised by a sense of own identity, their openness to Europe, as well as activeness and entrepreneurship as compared to other Russian citizens. The greatest number of military units in Russia cluster in Kaliningrad Oblast. This potential is continually strengthened with the progressing modernisation of Russian military forces. Small border traffic, initiated in July 21 between the Republic of Poland and the Kaliningrad Oblast of the RF, had a major impact on the animation, volume and the dynamics of cross-border relations and the promotion of Poland. In July 2016, the Polish side suspended the project.
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