EU

Call for 16 twinning partners. Multi-level governance study in support of Europe 2020

The consortium I am part of as a consultant, lead by Spatial Foresight was commisioned by DG Regio to carry out a “Study on promoting multi-level governance in support of Europe 2020”. The study aims at generating lessons from policy experiences and at stimulating the learning and exchange between regions. As part of the study we are looking for 16 twinning partners (European regions or cities) interested in partnering with 8 case study regions on improving multi-level governance: DEADLINE 22 January 2014 The study focuses on two specific policy fields…

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Nations, regions, identity - a federal perspective

This is a guest post from Horațiu Ferchiu. He is a planning professional and independent researcher with interests spanning from strategic planning, governance, and policy to politics, and federal Europe. He is currently brainstorming his future PhD subject around federalism and development. This article sums up some of his preliminary findings and thoughts, and is the first in a series of three articles meant to tie federalism and spatial planning together. While this might seem like an intensely political debate, the current European economic situation forces us to look into…

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European identity and common values

Cultural values and language define two of the most important characteristics of territorially defined nations or ethnically defined groups. The recent buzz around the EU blogosphere revealed certain cultural and language issues that limit the way in which people react and interact (1, 2, 3). By similarity, this is not different in the spatial planning field, especially considering that policy measures are usually filtered through the past,  present and future visions resulted from cultural and political frameworks. Protesilaos Stavrou actually pointed towards an important issue of the European project. That…

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Assessing EU Regional Policy: past, present, and future.

There is probably no surprise that the recent EU enlargements that brought the membership count up to 27, have actually pinpointed some major integration challenges that affected both existing and new member states. Considering this context and the EU regional policy’s contribution to the enlargement processes, it is maybe interesting to question how appropriate is this policy to deal with future enlargements and regional disparities. This is even more important now, as the economic crisis makes the future of some European countries uncertain. The first challenge Looking back at…

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What is this thing called “European spatial planning”?

A very common arrangement of technical terms in some academic and professional circles and a very daunting one in others. European spatial planning creates intense and unending debates regarding what it actually is, and what is its purpose. A majority of these debates spur from cultural and language differences making it difficult to bring everyone in agreement. Giving an all around valid definition has been a difficult task for most academics that attempted it. However, this is not the task of this article, but rather to lay out general principles…

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