Territories with Geographic Specificities

coverNovember 2013 - Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that ”the Union shall aim at reducing disparities between the levels of development of the various regions and the backwardness of the least favoured regions” and that ”among the regions concerned, particular attention shall be paid to […] regions which suffer from severe and permanent natural or demographic handicaps such as the northernmost regions with very low population density and island, cross-border and mountain regions.”

Based on this, ESPON has carried out research and analysis to identify the geographically specific territories in Europe and their development potentials and challenges.

These findings clearly show that, besides seeing the geographic particularities of these territories as “handicaps” as stated in the Treaty, policy-makers also need to consider their unique development assets.

ESPON Evidence Brief No. 3 “Territories with Geographic Specificities” is available below.


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


EEB3 - Territories with Geographic Specificities

  • Acrobat Document | 6.69MB

Map - European territories with geographic specificities

  • Acrobat Document | 8.96MB