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.

With Nordregio research as a strong basis, each issue will provide multiple perspectives on a specific theme of regional development. In this first issue of Nordregio News we aim to provide a better understanding of the ongoing discussion on the future European Territorial Cohesion policy; and specifically the role of the Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020 (TA 2020).

The TA 2020 was adopted in May 2011 by the ministers responsible for Spatial Planning and Territorial Development in the 27 EU Member States. It is developed by the Member States in cooperation with the EU Commission and is intended as a 'territorial' supplement for the Europe 2020 Strategy. Consequently, it is viewed as the road map for alignment of the EU Cohesion policies for the next decade.

Peter Schmitt's contribution to this issue, The Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020 – A turning point in striving for Territorial Cohesion?, discusses how the concept of Territorial Cohesion is addressed in the TA 2020. It also elaborates on the specific context and complex policy framework in which it is embedded and highlights some of the key messages communicated by the TA 2020. Further, the question of what can be expected in terms of policy implementation is discussed.

In Erik Gløersen's and Kai Böhme's article, Storylines on Territorial Cohesion, you can read about how the concept of Territorial Cohesion can be understood and measured. The challenge lies in the fact that rather than trying to impose a specific definition the European Commission prefers to have an open dialogue on the meaning and policy implications of Territorial Cohesion. Measures of Territorial Cohesion therefore need to reflect different prevailing understandings of this notion. Gløersen and Böhme refer to the ongoing ESPON INTERCO project, where six different storylines are proposed as the basis for developing the needed indicators of Territorial Cohesion.

In his article, The EU Territorial Agenda 2020 and Territorial Cohesion – a Swedish policy viewpoint, Sverker Lindblad provides a Swedish perspective to Territorial Cohesion. The question of how the TA 2020 shall be implemented and the possible impacts on Swedish policy is discussed. He especially points out the implementation of the TA 2020 and the needed commitment from the national and regional stakeholders as crucial challenges.

With this first issue of Nordregio News we want to welcome all our readers, both new and old, to a new media for dissemination of important research on territorial development and policy. It is also our ambition to enable a dialogue with the different actors within our field, such as our European research colleagues and those stakeholders who use the research carried out by Nordregio.

We hope you enjoy reading Nordregio News!

Ole Damsgaard

and the Editorial Board of Nordregio News

Back to Nordregio News Issue 1, 2011