Europe's strive for Territorial Cohesion

Nordregio News Issue 1, October 2011

Photo: Johannes Jansson/

Welcome to Nordregio News

We are very happy to welcome you to the first issue of Nordregio News. Our wish is to present current issues, to give new perspectives and to dive deeper under the surface within the broad field of regional development. We will also provide you with information about interesting research results from Nordregio.

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The Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020 – A turning point in striving for Territorial Cohesion?

By Peter Schmitt

The Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020 (TA 2020) is the most recent informal strategic policy paper concerned with Territorial Cohesion in Europe. The ministers responsible for Spatial Planning and Territorial Development under the Hungarian Presidency approved it in May 2011. This paper joins a tradition of informal joint efforts by the same group of authors to emphasise the need and potential for an integrated spatial or, as it is has come to be termed in recent years, territorial perspective on strategic transnational policymaking. This article sheds some light on the specific context and complex policy framework in which the TA 2020 is embedded, the key messages this policy paper communicates, and how it approaches Territorial Cohesion as a joint EU policy target. In doing so, it also paves the way for the two other contributions to this newsletter that tackle more specific related issues.

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Storylines on Territorial Cohesion

By Erik Gløersen and Kai Böhme

What role can researchers play in discussions on Territorial Cohesion? Policymakers and stakeholders with ambitions in Territorial Cohesion request statistical measures and maps that support its implementation in policy. Such evidence is needed, for example, in debates on the future of structural funds after 2013. The present article presents some reflections on the role that applied research may play in such a context, based on experience from the ongoing ESPON project 'Indicators of Territorial Cohesion' (ESPON INTERCO).

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The EU Territorial Agenda 2020 and Territorial Cohesion - a Swedish Policy Viewpoint

By Sverker Lindblad

The second generation of the EU Territorial Agenda has arrived with high expectations on policy impacts at all levels and in different territorial contexts. Closer linkages with the EU Cohesion Policy could occur through the integration of Territorial Cohesion in the Lisbon Treaty and ambitious efforts from the Polish EU Presidency, but the concrete way forward remains unclear.

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