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Here you can find all articles published during 2007.

Refereed articles 


'Risks' as a justification for, and a challenge to, European territorial co-operation (#26)

Ulrich Graute & Stephan Schöps


Under the new ‘European territorial Co-operation’ objective of the EU’s cohesion policy the programmes for the funding period 2007-2013 refer to ‘natural’, ’environmental’ or ‘flood’ risks. To reduce these risks, activities are funded which allow for better risk assessment, control, prevention, and management.

The subject of the paper is an analysis of whether and how environmental and natural risks were in the past addressed. Based on this, the draft programmes for the new funding period will be examined. The key questions are as follows: How do European territorial co-operation programmes approach risks of various kinds? And secondly, the structural funds provide a considerable amount of funding for dealing with risks - but do the funds also encourage appropriate actions in response to the risks identified?

The paper will analyse how programme actors and project partners react to risks and how they approach risk reduction or prevention. Examples are taken from the INTERREG III B CADSES programme (2000-2006) and from the preparation of its follow-up programmes for European Territorial Co-operation in Central Europe and South-Eastern Europe (2007-2013).

15pp (Refereed Articles, November 2007, no 26)

Graute, U. & Schöps, S. (2007). ‘Risks’ as a justification for, and a challenge to, European territorial co-operation, European Journal of Spatial Development, 26


Making Sense of the 'Territorial Agenda of the European Union' (#25)

Andreas Faludi


European planning has gone through a number of metamorphoses from the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) to an, albeit tentative, policy to achieve territorial cohesion. The first section of this paper discusses developments since the turn of the century. The second section focuses on the renewed Member State initiative to produce an ‘evidence-based’ document, ‘The Territorial State and Perspectives of the European Union’, leading to the ‘Territorial Agenda of the European Union’ presented in May 2007 under the German Presidency. The third section discusses the substantive policies as proposed in the Territorial Agenda. The forth section focuses on institutional developments, including acceptance on the part of the Member States of the need for an EU territorial cohesion policy, and with it of the role of the Commission in the taking of important initiatives. The conclusions seek to make sense of these developments in the evolving context of European integration. A postscript discusses the prospects for territorial cohesion policy under the ‘Reform Treaty’.

22pp (Refereed Articles, November 2007, no 25)

Faludi, A. (2007). Making Sense of the ‘Territorial Agenda of the European Union’, European Journal of Spatial Development, 25


Closing the GAP: Territorial Cohesion through Polycentric Development (#24)

Evert Meijers, Bas Waterhout & Wil Zonneveld


This article discusses and analyses national polycentric development policies aiming at cohesion. Due to its insertion in the 1999 European Spatial Development Perspective ‘polycentricity’ has become an important concept in discussions on Europe’s territorial and economic development. Its content remains however rather unclear. This paper contributes to the discussion on the meaning of polycentricity by looking at national polycentric development policies. These policies can be distinguished according to two types of disparities, or gaps, which they try to bridge. The first concerns the gap between different levels of the national urban hierarchy, the most common being the gap between a primate capital city and the next category of cities. The second gap is the one between cities located in regions with diverging rates of socio-economic development. On the basis of a conceptual and quantitative discussion of these gaps a basic definition is presented of what polycentric development policies are about: policies that address the distribution of economic and/or economically relevant functions over the urban system in such a way that the urban hierarchy is flattened in a territorially balanced way. A discussion of the polycentric development policies of France, Poland and Germany illustrates our findings. The article concludes that for the period 2007-2013 – the new EU budget period – a clear synergy is needed between EU and national policies and that without such synergy policies cannot be effective.

25pp (Refereed Articles, October 2007, no 24)

Meijers, E.J., Waterhout, B. & Zonneveld, W.A.M. (2007). Closing the GAP: Territorial Cohesion through Polycentric Development, European Journal of Spatial Development, 24


Comparing the influence of Structural Funds programmes on regional development approaches in Western Scotland and Silesia: Adaptation or Assimilation? (#23)

Martin Ferry


The implementation of EU Structural Funds (SF) programmes is credited with influencing the focus and content of domestic regional development activities, enhancing coordination of national and sub-national levels tasked with regional development and strengthening partnerships between public, private and voluntary actors. However, the influence of programmes is uneven. Analyses, based on the Europeanization literature, present a complex relationship between EU and domestic factors. A range of variables has been identified to explain this differential influence. The paper contends that, when considering New Member States (NMS) from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), this approach requires reorientation. In the face of strategically weak and under-resourced domestic approaches, programmes are driving, rather than attempting to adjust, the domestic regional development agendas. To support this, the paper takes a comparative approach, assessing the influence of programmes in cases from opposite ends of the SF implementation spectrum: the UK (Western Scotland) and Poland (Silesia).

29pp (Refereed Articles, October 2007, no 23)

Ferry, M. (2007). Comparing the influence of Structural Funds programmes on regional development approaches in Western Scotland and Silesia: Adaptation or Assimilation? European Journal of Spatial Development, 23


Debate articles 


The emerging Norwegian municipal structure

Jørgen Amdam


Calls have been made for fewer regions in Norway. Norway is currently divided into 19 counties and 434 municipalities. The political and administrative structures at the local and regional levels are currently the subject of some debate. In this debate article by Prof. Jørgen Amdam, Institute of planning and administration, Volda University College, Norway, the challenges posed in respect of emerging changes in Norway’s municipal and county structures are examined. Focus is placed on possible alternatives and their potential consequences, each illustrated by means of reference to specific cases of municipalities in Møre and Romsdal County. It is suggested that so-called communicative planning processes are needed to be implemented for a change ‘from below’ to be successful.

25pp (Debate, August 2007)

Amdam, J. (2007). The emerging Norwegian municipal structure, Debate, European Journal of Spatial Development


European spatial planning

Christer Bengs & Maria Prezioso


Much of the European work undertaken on spatial planning has been carried out in the context of intergovernmental co-operation, which is not always promoted by the Commission. The process and results of the ESPON programme can be understood in the context of globalisation and the conflicting scenarios for European integration. The most important question related to future co-operation on European spatial planning, concerns the scientific quality of the results however, not their alleged policy implications.


Bengs, C. (2006). ESPON in context, Debate, European Journal of Spatial Development

Prezioso, M. (2007). Why the ESPON Programme is concerned more with ‘policy implications’ than with ‘good science’, Debate, European Journal of Spatial Development