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Collective learning through transnational co-operation – the case of Interreg IIIB

Nordregio Working Paper 2006:2

This report summarises some of the experiences of the Interreg IIIB programme as well as some of the lessons learned, with a particular focus on the 'collective learning' aspect that this may have entailed in relation to spatial policy processes, concepts and goals, e.g. ESDP and polycentricity. Based on our analysis, we claim that the epistemic community that has gradually formed around the Interreg Community Initiative constitutes the resource upon which the integration of spatial policy objectives and territorial policy instruments should be based, as Interreg type cooperation enables the spatial development issues to nurture the regional development dynamics.

The study also suggests that Interreg projects provide the framework for increased regional consciousness and learning across Europe on the issue of spatial development, as illustrated by the example of polycentric development. In that sense, Interreg projects enable practitioners to improve their knowledge of spatial policy issues outside their own national frameworks.