• ESPON Seminar

    “A world without borders
    Refugees, cooperation and territories”

     

    Luxembourg City - Luxembourg, 8 and 9 December 2015

    14 December 2015 - The ESPON EGTC held a two day seminar on “A world without borders – Refugees, cooperation and territories”. The seminar was organised in cooperation with the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU within the framework of the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme. The event took place on 8 – 9 December 2015 in Luxembourg.

    156 people, including policy makers, practitioners, scientists and experts were welcomed by the general director of the Luxembourgish Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Frank Vansteenkiste.

    MDD_4835 MDD_4821
    MDD_4869 MDD_4906

     

    The seminar was an important opportunity for the ESPON EGTC to engage stakeholders in discussions about their need for territorial evidence. In this context the following three policy themes were taken up by the event:

    • Territorial aspects of refugee migration to Europe;
    • Cross-border cooperation;
    • European macro-regional strategies.

    Tuesday, 8 December 2015

    Territorial aspects of refugee migration to Europe

    Heinz Faβmann, University of Vienna, opened this session with a speech on the current European asylum crisis. This was followed by a brief presentation of the ESPON policy brief on the territorial and urban aspects of the migration and refugee inflow, given by Sandra Di Biaggio, ESPON EGTC. Subsequently, a panel of scientists and stakeholders engaged in a lively discussion about the likely implications of the ongoing refugee migration for European regions and cities.

    It was concluded, among others, that it is important to consider tipping points, to share good practice experiences among cities and regions and to increase cooperation between towns, cities and regions, also across borders and transnationally.

    MDD_4939 MDD_4951
    MDD_4969 MDD_4980
    MDD_5001 MDD_5010
    MDD_5026 MDD_5047
    MDD_5077 MDD_5094

     

    Cross-border cooperation: what can ESPON do to support?

    The second slot of the seminar was dedicated to one of the priorities of the Luxembourgish presidency of the Council of the European Union.

    Alfonso Alcolea Martinez, Committee of the Regions, kicked-off the slot with a key note speech on the significance of cross-border cooperation and the need for territorial evidence. Peter Mehlbye, ESPON EGTC, then recapped which evidence ESPON had already created on cross-border issues in the past. Marianne Guérois, UMS RIATE, presented her work on filling data gaps in border regions, an issue that is commonly considered as a challenge. A panel of stakeholders and a scientist then discussed the need for territorial evidence for fostering cross-border cooperation.

    Panellists agreed that apart from data also visions were needed for cross-border cooperation and that citizens need to be involved in cross-border policy set up. Furthermore, it was mentioned, among others, that finer-grained data is necessary for cross-border work and that NUTS3 data is not detailed enough in this context.

     
    MDD_5335 MDD_5371
    MDD_5407 MDD_5448
    MDD_5456 MDD_5469
    MDD_5488 MDD_5496
    MDD_5568 MDD_5187
     
       
       
       
       

     

    Wednesday, 9 December 2015

    ESPON territorial monitoring for European macro-regions

    The second day of the seminar started with a dedicated slot on macro-regional strategies and here particularly an innovation in the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme, which offers the opportunity to macro-regions to develop custom-made territorial monitoring systems for them.

    Andrea Mairate, DG Regional and Urban Policy, opened the slot with a key note speech on macro-regions, the development of macro-regional strategies and the possible contribution of ESPON to the development and implementation of the latter. Sandra Di Biaggio, ESPON EGTC, then gave an overview on the functions of the Baltic Sea Region territorial monitoring system, which was developed in the framework of the ESPON 2013 Programme. Subsequently, representatives of the four different European macro-regions and a scientist discussed the need for territorial evidence by macro-regions.

    In the course of this lively discussion it was mentioned, among others, that evidence provision is actually not enough but that thorough discussion of such evidence is also needed. Faciliation and communication were considered important avenues to follow in this context. Furthermore, there was a request for ESPON to also look at governance processes in macro-regions and to provide guidance in this field.

    MDD_5716 MDD_5746
    MDD_5776 MDD_5786
    MDD_5806 MDD_5811
    MDD_5824 MDD_5828
    MDD_5811 MDD_5812

     

    Implementation of the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme

    To round off, the audience was informed about the future implementation of the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme.

    Andrea Mairate, DG Regional and Urban Policy, presented in a nutshell the expectations of the European Commission in relation to the evidence production by ESPON. Michaela Gensheimer, ESPON EGTC, then informed about the recently opened first call for tenders for applied research activities. Peter Mehlbye, ESPON EGTC, gave a broader outlook on the planned activities until the end of 2016.

    Finally, the Luxembourgish Presidency reflected upon the outcome of its term and the future two EU Presidency countries, the Netherlands and Slovakia, gave an outlook on their ambitions.

    MDD_6011 MDD_6039
    MDD_6075 MDD_6112
    MDD_6134 MDD_6138

     

    More information

    You can find below the programme of the event, practical information, list of participants, presentations, ESPON Policy Brief "Territorial and urban aspects of migration and refugee inflow".

    More photos here.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact ESPON (info@espon.eu) should you need further information.

    next page