ESPON sessions at Open Days 2007

10 October 2007, DG Regio, Bruxelles

Results of the ESPON programme was discussed at two sessions during the Open Days in Bruxelles.  

The first session dealt with “Territorial evidence for policy-making – highlights of ESPON results”.  

This session presented the latest findings from applied European territorial research carried out by ESPON. The presentations illustrated territorial patterns and development trends are currently pointing towards more territorial cohesion and/or towards improved competitiveness and which impacts EU policies have on European regions.

The evidence provided by ESPON showed the different framework conditions and comparative advantages of European regions. The specific framework conditions and territorial advantages of a region is a suitable starting points for considerations on (a) strengthening regional development through cooperation, either on themes or with neighbouring regions, and (b) attracting investors for which the specificities of an area can make the difference.  

Four presentations opened the debate:

1.    Territorial cohesion, its opportunities and challenges by Peter Schön, BBR, Germany
2.    Competitive regions in Europe by Cliff Hague, Professor emeritus, the UK
3.    Territorial impacts of EU sector policies by Kai Böhme, EuroFutures, Sweden
4.    Future outlook and next steps for ESPON by Peter Mehlbye, ESPON CU

The second ESPON session focused on “Territorial futures for Europe – Scenarios, policies and cooperation”.

This session provided food for discussion on future development scenarios for the European territory and related policy development at European level. It also raised the challenge of partnerships in using ESPON targeted analysis to support a European dimension in regional development.  

ESPON has published contrasting territorial scenarios showing likely futures for European regions until 2030. These are showing different images in relation to regional potentials for networking, cluster building and attracting investors.

Current policy developments as well provide orientations for the European territory. The application of the Territorial Agenda for the EU might imply new opportunities for the attractiveness of many regions. The ESPON 2013 Programme aims at investing more on partnerships and offer opportunities for knowledge cooperation with groupings of regions sharing a specific knowledge need.

The lively discussion was stimulated by four presentations:

1.    Spatial Scenarios for the European territory by Jacques Robert, Tersyn, France
2.    Territorial Impact Assessment by Moritz Lennert, ULB, Bruxelles
3.    Territorial Agenda and Action Plan for the EU by Thiemo W. Eser, Luxembourg
4.    The ESPON 2013 Programme by Peter Mehlbye, ESPON CU

All presentations of the two ESPON Sessions are available on the next page.


1.Territorial cohesion, opportunities & challenges

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 10.47MB

1. Competitive regions in Europe

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 5.64MB

1. Territorial impacts of EU sectors policies

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 788KB

1. Future outlook and next steps for ESPON

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 1.17MB

2. Territorial Impact Assessment

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 171KB