Policy makers and practitioners at all administrative levels are key stakeholders for ESPON. Through direct and indirect measures they are the key contributors to the achievement of European policy goals related to territorial development and cohesion. In an era of accelerating globalization it is therefore important that decisions include evidence and information of the larger territorial context, in particular a European perspective on the regions, cities or larger territories in question.

This priority responds to a clear demand of policy makers and practitioners, expressed during the final phase of the ESPON 2006 Programme, for user and demand driven actions within the ESPON 2013 Programme. Targeted Analyses elaborated under the ESPON 2013 Programme are intended to meet this demand and provide a truly European dimension to the evidence base at regional/local, national, cross-border and transnational levels.

The use of ESPON results in practice shall contribute to informed policy decisions. By convening an analytical process where ESPON findings are integrated with more detailed information and practical know-how, new understanding of future development potentials and challenges may arise, which could be transformed into policy decisions on projects and actions. The concrete use of ESPON results will be developed through partnership, dialogue and cooperation, in many actions by bringing together the European dimension with national, regional and/or local perspectives, information and analysis.

Targeted Analyses are relevant as their content is defined by demand for European wide evidence and/or a European territorial dimension in policy development and strategy building. They will enhance integrated analyses of certain territorial contexts, cross-cutting studies based on regional case studies, experiments and technical/methodological support to territorial planning and visions, which are undertaken in cooperation within other Structural Funds programmes.

Partnership and cooperation on Targeted Analyses can create added value for the ESPON 2013 Programme itself by contributing to the process of defining themes for applied research.