ECR2 - Economic Crisis: Resilience of Regions


Regional resilience

Thematic scope

The picture of the economic situation in Europe resulting from the crisis that began in 2008 looks rather asymmetrical and diverse with regions that were not or hardly touched by the crises at all, with regions that were touched but that seem to recover rather progressively and with regions that still suffer quite a lot from the crisis. The fast and successful recovery of some particular regions strikes the eye and raises the question of what is behind this success.

The economic crisis and recovery are at the core of all recent policy initiatives that set the framework for territorial development and cohesion policy. The objective of this project is to expose territorial evidence that supports policymakers at different administrative levels in making the economic structure(s) in Europe and its countries, regions and cities more resilient to economic crises and a sudden economic downturn.

Please read more about the main policy questions being answered and the main results envisaged on the next page.

Lead Partner

Cardiff University, UK

Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.

Sounding Board

Lorenzo Costantino, Italy

Krzysztof Herbst, Poland

Budget: € 754 469,00

Project’s lifetime: February 2012 - October 2014

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 31 July 2012

Interim Report: 31 January 2013

Draft Final Report: 31 March 2014

Final Report: 31 August 2014


Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

More information

Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit:  Gavin DALY: [email protected]

Main policy questions being answered

  • What is the territorial impact of the last economic crisis? What economic activities/sectors were particularly impacted by the crisis and where are these located in Europe? How could this be mapped?
  • What quantitative and qualitative factors allow regions to move faster out of economic downturn? What elements in economic structures and policy responses made a difference for territories in order to be able to recover from the crisis? What (types of) regions and territories turn out to be more resilient and successfully adaptive to the latest economic downturn and why?
  • What can regional policymakers do to complement macro-economic measures stimulating at economic recovery? How can policymakers enhance the resilience of the regional economies for future economic downturn? Is part of better resilience to be found in integrated and place-based policy action?

Main results envisaged

  • Development of indicators to measure impact and resilience
  • Typology of different economic structures throughout Europe
  • European maps showing regional impacts of the economic crises
  • European maps showing regions with fast recovery
  • List of success factors and barriers for recovery strategies including potentials for place-based approaches including a deeper insight how policymakers at different levels have reacted to the crises through 6-8 case studies
  • Presentation final results in relation to different types of regions and cities, using, where applicable, existing typologies and the designated transnational cooperation areas under Structural Funds, and where useful and feasible also for cross-border cooperation area and inter-regional cooperation areas.


Final Report

  • Zip archive | 23.40MB

Draft Final Report - Main Report

  • Acrobat Document | 2.43MB

Draft Final Report - Scientific Report

  • Acrobat Document | 10.99MB

Draft Final Report - Scientific Report Annexes

  • Acrobat Document | 887KB

Article "Economic Crisis and the Structural Funds", Dr. Adrian Healy and Prof. Gillian Bristow, Cardiff University September 2013

  • Acrobat Document | 408KB

Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 7.24MB

Inception Report

  • Acrobat Document | 785KB

Project Specification

  • Acrobat Document | 66KB