Connectivity and the Periphery

Accessibility and proximity have played and still play an important role in the development process. They enable economic development and sustain it at the same time. Together they also generate the peripherality effect. That what is outside of the “accessible and close” area is peripheral and presents less interest. My argument here is that in spite of this effect, a third player comes to the table, and its name is connectivity. Encouraged by the Digital Agenda of the EU, I believe that connectivity can actually make peripherality become solely a…

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Unemployment perspectives - a short brief

Unemployment. The major concern and at the same time the result of the economic crisis, as well as one of the main points to be addressed through policies targeting the reduction of regional disparities across the EU. In short: unemployment is a big issue! It defines and modifies economic processes with direct impacts on spatial development. In my perspective there are two main issues that have to be addressed as part of the strategy aimed at lowering unemployment levels: economic diversity and behavioural change. Young vs. Old – the unemployment race…

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Funding Innovation in the EU - A governance perspective

As expected social media powered discussions give the opportunity to develop new ideas in unconventional ways. Unconventional brainstorming on Twitter and blogs has its benefits, as it combines ideas from a plethora of people and places. After such a discussion/brainstorm which lasted for some time, Horatiu Ferchiu from Federal Europe – a planner’s view put together a small infographic imaging the skeleton frame for a European innovation and start-up fund. On it, Euronomist drafted a more detailed funding scheme describing the economic actors and tools involved. As I was…

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Regionalization 101 - an introduction

I live in Romania, a country which until 22 years ago was under a communist regime, and which had to drastically modify its social, institutional and administrative constructs in order to adapt the market economy and the ‘western’ style of life. I observed the reform (partial – my opinion might be biased in this respect) of an overly-centralized state and the EU driven adaptational changes. Lately there has been a lot of talk about ‘real’ regionalization. We already have development regions, but the objective here would be to create fully functional…

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The new love triangle: quality of government, institutional trust and development

Recent weeks brought forward debates concerning governments and the quality and efficiency of their interventions and decision-making processes. While this discussion can be nuanced in many ways, my personal interest lays mainly with the basic understanding of the relation between the quality of the governmental act, the level of trust in international, national and sub-national institutions, and the GDP variation (perceived in this case as a unit of measure for development levels). I believe that the understanding of this relation is one of the keys in developing effective governance and…

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