• EUphoria;
  • EUtopia;
  • South Limburg;
  • cross-border co-operation;
  • borderless Europe;
  • discourse analysis


The paper deals with the failure of the Avantis cross-border business estate. The inception of this hitherto largely undeveloped site took place in the early 1990s, a period which we suggest characterising with the notion of EUphoria, that is, a widely held belief in the future of a borderless Europe. EUphoria is seen as the key to bringing together otherwise separate discourses under one shared ambition of constructing a cross-border business estate. With the fading of EUphoria, however, Avantis resurfaces as a shared problem and appears to have been built on expectations and promises held within a discourse of European integration rather than among private investors. In retrospect, Avantis as a product of EUphoria remains a EUtopia, albeit with very few believers.