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ESPON 2.3.1. Application and effects of the ESDP in the Member States Ole Damsgaard NORDREGIO Stockholm. Objectives and research questions. The objective is to identify the ESDP’s potential and to highlight examples of its application and implementation at different levels

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Espon 2 3 1

ESPON 2.3.1

Application and effects of the ESDP in the Member States

Ole Damsgaard



Objectives and research questions
Objectives and research questions

  • The objective is to identify the ESDP’s potential and to highlight examples of its application and implementation at different levels

  • What effects has it had on policy development at different levels?

  • Which delivery mechanisms have been most successful?

  • Which ESDP related key themes have been most used?

Main findings european level
Main findings: European level

  • The Tampere ESDP Action Programme ->ESPON

  • Sectoral policies and programmes-> Guidelines for Structural Funds 2000-2006 +the Guidelines for the INTERREG III Programme (2000-2006)

  • The Sustainable Development Strategy (2001)

  • The White Paper on Governance (2001)

  • The CEMAT Guiding Principles

  • After 2001 very limited direct influence on EU policy, new policy agendas emerged (Lisbon and Gothenburg)

  • But the (draft) Territorial State and Perspectives of EU makes reference to the ESDP!!

Interreg iiib programmers are implementing esdp ideas
INTERREG IIIB programmers are implementing ESDP ideas

  • The main priorities of most Strand IIIB Programmes are coherent with ESDP policy guidelines

  • Southern Europe: Sustainable development, prudent management and protection of nature and cultural heritage

  • Northern Europe: Parity of access to infrastructure and knowledge

  • Application through INTERREG = secondary or tertiary as there are various intermediate steps (documents) between

  • The causal link between the ESDP and the specific projects may therefore often be very indirect (conform in respect to some ESDP policy guidelines while others are lost along the way)

Main findings national level
Main findings: National level

  • Few direct relations between the degree of application and the different classical European planning regimes

  • The direct impact of the ESDP is very limited in most countries even in the countries who was a driving force in the process – however;

  • Application mainly has taken place within spatial planning at the national level

  • The ESDP influenced the planning discourses

  • Variation in time and between European regions

Policy recommendations
Policy recommendations

  • Strategic spatial planning at European level is necessary

  • Funding of spatially focussed actions are drivers

  • The professional discourse should be stimulated

  • A new strategic document should be simple and should adress existing and potential spatial conflicts

  • Highlight European issues in national planning

  • Develop practical examples as an inspiration for regional spatial planning

Recommendations concerning espon 2013
Recommendations concerning ESPON 2013

  • The assessment exercise itself was difficult as the direct effects are so limited – quantitative data problematic

  • Therefore there is a need to perform a more systematic investigation of planning practices currently pertaining in the formal national planning systems (ESPON II)

  • International comparative studies of the dynamics of planning practice should be developed

  • Methodologies should be developed further

  • Application of the new Territorial Agenda should be studied from day 1!

Thanks for your attention




Catholic University Leuven




Politecnico Torino


University of Liverpool


ETH Zürich




Dep. of Geo, University of Valencia

The Fac. of Civil Engeniring, Maribor




Thanks for your attention