Workshop on Rural Regions in Europe: Territorial Potentials and main Challenges

Territories with specific geographical features have received special attention in several policy documents and processes, in particular the Lisbon Treaty, the Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion and in an indirect way in the EU2020 Strategy when referring to the diversity within EU 27.

In this context, a more in-depth analysis of the characteristics and dynamics of territories with specific geographical features seem particularly relevant in order to better understand the diversity of Europe and its regions and in identifying development opportunities across Europe that could support place based policies at different geographical levels.


Following a ESPON workshop addressing Urban Regions in Europe, ESPON devoted an additional workshop on Rural Areas aimed at better understanding the diversity of this type of territories across Europe. 

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 The event gave the opportunity to discuss development opportunities of European rural areas and major challenges as well as the impact of climate change in this type of territories.






This open ESPON Workshop explored how different approaches to rural areas can be used to support policymakers in setting policy actions for their territories.It took stock on the work developed by ESPON, European Commission DG REGIO and DG AGRI and in particular discussed:

  1. methods and typologies,
  2. trends and future challenges and opportunities for development, including some practical examples of successful rural regions,
  3. policy use and main expectations.

When and Where

The workshop took place in Luxembourg at la Maison de l’Europe (EC Representation to Luxembourg) on 15 December 2010.

The workshop aimed at having a discussion amongst policymakers, practitioners and scientists working in the field of territorial cohesion. You may find below the Programme and the presentations given on the day.

Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the ESPON Coordination Unit at [email protected]


This event was organised within the framework of the ESPON 2013 Capitalisation Strategy
(Actions related to European Seminars and Workshops).



  • Acrobat Document | 131KB

Welcome and Setting the Scene

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 6563KB

Typologies of Rural Areas in ESPON

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 11747KB

Rural-Urban Typologies from OECD, DG Regio

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 4287KB

The Future for Rural Areas of Europe

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 4199KB

Potentials of rural regions

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 1786KB

Policy Expectation Statements

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 157KB

Policy Expectation Statements

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 540KB