LAKES - territorial analysis of spatial progress and integrated development opportunities of large lakes in Europe


In the European Union there is not any specific approach developed for the integrated development for regions of large lakes, their social-economical space and catchment areas. This targeted analysis is aimed at overcoming that challenge and to provide to stakeholders’ regions and other regions in Europe recommendations for developing an effective spatial development tool for European large lakes.

By doing so, this targeted analysis is mainly focused on territorial policies and lake governance aspects, but due to the ecological dimension and environmental regulation of large lakes, consideration of environmental conditions is also necessary. The following key concepts are to be considered: place-based approach; multifunctionality; effective territorial governance, environmental regulations.

The project will also provide recommendations mainly to practitioners on how to identify and consider the specific territorial context and specificities in lake regions across Europe for better management and for integrated development of European large lakes.

Stakeholders’ knowledge needs

  • What territorial context and what main development trends can be identified in the concerned lake areas (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)? How can these territories and surrounding areas be defined?
  • What are the occurrent anomalies, unprovided activities and needs of the areas caused by actual administrative, territorial policy surroundings in lake governance, regional management and development? Can centralised or decentralised policy enforcement effectively supply the special needs of large lake areas?
  • What can be done by the public authorities and the relevant governance levels to achieve effective, sustainable and competitive institutional systems in European large lake regions?
  • What are the applicable good practices or elements for territorial governance of lakes?
  • To which extent are multi-level policy strategies, EU directives and other instruments playing or could play a role in contributing for an integrated development of European large lakes?
  • What recommendations and guidelines can be given to stakeholders for the elaboration of a framework programme concept for the integrated development of European large lakes?
  • What are the policy recommendations that can be given to other similar territories in Europe aimed at establishing an integrated development tool for European lakes?

Main outcomes

  • Applicable, highly effective institutional models for territorial governance in the concerned regions, shown on the basis of the European best practices, applied for the regional specificities of concerned areas
  • Exploration of common weaknesses, challenges, strengths and potentials of the European lakes, especially in the stakeholder regions
  • Possibilities and potentials of a framework development programme or development fund for the large lakes of Europe
  • Recommendations and guidelines for managing lakes in a more integrated way and considering a place-based approach related also with the main directives and key policy processes related to spatial development at European level
  • Transferability of policy recommendations and the guidelines to be applied in similar regions in Europe


  • Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency, (lead stakeholder), HU
  • Lake Constance Foundation (LCF), DE
  • Västarvet – Västra Götaland Region, SE


  • Spatial Foresight, (lead contractor), LU
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, DE
  • HÉTFA Research Institute Ltd., HU


€ 228,605.00


October 2020 – February 2022


  • Inception delivery : 28 November 2020
  • Interim delivery : 28 April 2021
  • Final delivery : 28 October 2021



LAKES Synthesis_report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 686KB

LAKES Final_report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.80MB

LAKES Annex1 Case studies.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 3.74MB

LAKES Annex2a_Regional_report Balaton.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 7.06MB

LAKES Annex2b_Regional_report Vänern.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 6.73MB

LAKES Annex2c_Regional_report Constance.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 4.53MB

LAKES Annex3_Framework-concept.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.07MB