From evidence to action: territorial trends and challenges identified in the ESPON projects
Fostering policy coherence in the Danube region


Wien, Austria


4 April 2019

Fleischmarkt 1
A-1010 Wien

The Danube Region – as geographically addressed by the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) and the Interreg programme Danube transnational 2014-2020 – stands for a European region with specific patterns of territorial development and trends which results in specific challenges for territorial cohesion and consequent needs for macroregional/transnational cooperation. Flows, interdependencies, interlinkages and functional relations crossing national borders within and beyond the region are growing. Policy responses would have to be designed cooperatively and be strongly coordinated among Danube countries and regions, taking into account available evidence.

Evidence on macroregional/transnational territorial phenomena is still rare in the Danube region. This is compounded by the challenge of how to make use of existing evidence in the design of cooperation instruments.

Both the EUSDR (since 2010/2011) and the Interreg Danube programme are cooperation instruments that engage in efforts to better utilise available territorial evidence. Moreover, there is a growing interest and pressure for national and regional authorities to identify /select their priorities for cooperation in the Danube Region as well as to monitor and evaluate their implementation upon solid evidence.     

ESPON could offer support in several ways:

  • Stimulating stakeholders by making aware of ESPON results specifically translated and interpreted for the Danube region (aiming particularly at stakeholders involved in the governance of EUSDR, Interreg Danube and Interreg Central Europe);
  • Making aware of available ESPON tools (incl. the tailor-made tool for macro-regional monitoring) and proposing the application of these tool in particular Danube contexts;
  • More specifically: being aware of the “window of opportunity”, i.e. the ongoing revision and evaluation of the EUSDR Action Plan and the kick-off of post-2020 Interreg programming, to put a specific attention on what could be done in this respect during this year.

What ESPON offers in this context is a wide range of data, indicators and tools that help to monitor territorial trends, compare regional social, economic and environmental performance and identify functional linkages beyond national borders. These insights can support the iterative process of strategy development, monitoring and evaluation. ESPON is also examining the consequences of territorialism, the cost of borders and discontinuity of cooperation, projecting the territorial developments in mid-term and long-term policy scenarios. The role of cooperation amidst the new challenges that ESPON’s European Territorial Reference Framework refers to as the ‘crisis of territorialism’ is projected to be at its greatest height over the next decade. The increasing problems of efficiency and legitimacy of governance compounded by future technological, economic, social and environmental trends necessitates common understanding and a common territorial vision. Insights from ESPON on the territorial future can help to reconcile various interests and serve as an inspiration to shape a common vision for the Danube region.


Programme (EN)

  • Acrobat Document | 268KB

Programme (DE)

  • Acrobat Document | 294KB

Introduction ÖROK - Markus Seidl

  • Acrobat Document | 334KB

ESPON Introduction - Laurent Frideres ESPON EGTC

  • Acrobat Document | 538KB

ESPON macroregional monitoring tool - Effrain Larea, MCRIT

  • Acrobat Document | 1.71MB

European Territorial Reference Framework - Andreu Ulied, MCRIT

  • Acrobat Document | 9.19MB

European Territorial Review - Kai Bohme, Spatial Foresight

  • Acrobat Document | 1.26MB

EUSDR Action Plan - Kathrin Huber, EUSDR Danube Strategy Point

  • Acrobat Document | 1.67MB

Post-2020 programming of Interreg Danube - Imre Csalagovits, Interreg Danube

  • Acrobat Document | 394KB

ESPON Alps 2050 - Thomas Dax

  • Acrobat Document | 2.13MB

Strengthening impacts of Interreg investments - Luca Ferrarese, Interreg CE

  • Acrobat Document | 1.27MB

Evaluating EU macro-regional strategies - Stefan Gänzle, Norway

  • Acrobat Document | 365KB

EUSDR Jürgen Pucher

  • Acrobat Document | 552KB

Danube economies, ecosystems, crossborder services and territorial challenges

  • Acrobat Document | 6.20MB