Stronger together: recovering through crises
New challenges to territorial cohesion in Europe?


Lille, France


1 June 2022 to 2 June 2022

Place de Saintignon, 165 Av. de Bretagne
5900 Lille
Tel: +33 6 23 62 95 08
Email: [email protected]

Cohesion policy responded quickly to the COVID-19 crisis by mobilising additional funding, making spending on the crisis response eligible and allowing higher co-financing rates. This helped Member States and regions respond to the crisis, according to the 8th report on cohesion. The report indicated as well that it was time it was returning to its core mission of reducing regional disparities and promoting long-term regional development. However, the latest developments are most likely to delay this process, as emergency actions are needed, that allow the Member States and regions to provide immediate support to people fleeing from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The continuous period of crisis, from 2020 on has underlined new, unprecedented challenges that affect directly our living conditions, highlighting the role that cohesion policy is playing as an important source of investment.

The topics addressed during the ESPON week will turn the point of view on the dramatic short- and long-term effects of both the conflict in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic. It will launch a reflection and a debate around how cohesion policy (or other policies) should be further deployed and enhanced to better overcome territorial disparities.

In this intricate context, the ESPON seminar brings together some of the most prominent organisations and researchers that are working on in Europe and will make use of the insights from the latest ESPON studies. Through different presentations and interactive workshops participants will get an update on the latest ESPON evidence and research related to:

  • how economic interdependencies and flows affect the implementation of regional strategies;
  • what are the social and territorial consequences of COVID 19 at the regional level, with a focus on the outermost regions;
  • the cultural heritage as a source of societal well-being;
  • digital innovation in governance and public service provision;
  • (re)developing the productive city and metropolitan area
  • providing sustainable transport infrastructure in strategic urban regions.
  • In addition, the participants will get an insight into the latest ESPON publications and tools.

Participants will also be offered during the week:

  • Two new policy briefs summarizing ESPON EU-wide research on “Economic interdependencies and regional strategies policies” and “Social and territorial consequences of COVID 19 at the regional level”.
  • And a series of workshops to get to know more and discuss the latest ESPON research.

Please find the agenda at the bottom of the page.


ESPON week draft programme 23 May 2022.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.06MB