Agenda

M
3
10
17
24
T
4
11
18
25
W
5
12
19
26
T
6
13
20
27
F
7
14
21
28
S
1
8
15
22
29
S
2
9
16
23

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CoesioNet launches a call for papers to researchers and experts on the cohesion in Europe.

 

Once the papers are submitted to the editorial committee, they may be published on the CoesioNet web site.

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Crises and territorial cohesion

Crises and territorial cohesion

The aim of the “Territorial Crises and Transformations” group is to begin by identifying the sites of impact of crises, having first defined what the terms ‘territory’, ‘crisis’ and ‘impact’ mean.

 

A place where people live does not correspond to a place where people work, an administrative region, the territory of a project or even a state territorial unit.

Moreover, crisis is a polymorphous concept. It refers to both the macro-economic dynamic that originated in the 2008 financial crisis and to such global-level issues as climate change, energy supply and migration. It thus covers phenomena of various scales and temporalities.

 

Finally, to these considerations must be added aspects of the crisis that are due to an incomplete adjustment in the territories, particularly those situated along the European Union’s Southern- and Eastern-European peripheries. Many studies have underscored the manner in which institutional weakness has led to imperfect implementation of programs supported by structural funds and the imperfect governance that results from this. However, the most recent reports – in particular, the 5thcohesion report (November 2010) – do not take these into account for the simple reason that they are based on 2008 data. One of the objectives of this group is therefore to define what is a territory in crisis and identify the relevant indicators and the policies they authorize. In this way, the group wishes to ultimately determine whether there are growth/reduction dynamics in spatial disparities at the European level at the relevant scales and to consider possible paths of progress.

 

Issues Addressed by the Group:

 

  • A Regional Analysis of the Crisis’ Effects:

Which territories are particularly subjected to the effects of the crisis? Why? One may advance the hypothesis that it is neither the most developed countries (because they dispose of the resources needed to face it or are more flexible than others) nor the least developed ones (for this lesser development is to be measured against factors of development that were precisely lacking for the territories in crisis). The crisis, on this view, thus struck territories that had over the preceding years only just begun the expected takeoff, in particular as a result of the related effect of foreign direct investment and structural aid. Regions where it will be useful to identify sites of impact, available resources and capacities for reaction are thus those reporting regional GDPs situated at between 65 and 90% of the EU mean.

  • Territorial Innovation:

Just like the Lisbon strategy, the new EU 2020 strategy (for intelligent, durable and inclusive growth) strongly emphasizes innovation in order to develop Europe’s competitiveness. The policy of clusters and other poles of competitiveness have demonstrated the necessity of promoting innovation in the territories by nourishing creativity. Are all territories capable of developing innovation (territorial capital)? What approaches are to be established at the national and transnational level in order to encourage territorial innovation? How do the poles and clusters behave?

  • Revival Plan/Investments in the Future and Territories:

The revival plans resulting from the economic crisis as well as projects for investing in the future (for example, future policies financed by rubric 1A of the Union’s budget and those to be financed in the framework of the public loan in France) are a matter of sector-based approaches. What about their place in the territory, their contribution to the development of territorial potential?

Financing Development:

How should the financing of development be rethought? Should we move from a subsidy-based approach to one based on the financial investment market? How are long-term investment risks, in particular, to be managed and how are long-term investors’ interests to be protected in the prevailing atmosphere of short-term thinking?

See the programme of the 2010-2011 workshops of the group in pdf format.