ESPON Internal Seminar
"Territorial Development Opportunities in Europe and its Neighbourhood - Fostering Global Competitiveness"
5 - 6 December 2012
ESPON organised in cooperation with the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union the Internal Seminar “Territorial Development Opportunities in Europe and its Neighbourhood - Fostering Global Competitiveness”. The Seminar took place in Paphos (Cyprus) on 5-6 December 2012 and brought together 190 participants representing the ESPON Monitoring Committee, Contact Points and Project Groups as well as stakeholders participating in Targeted Analysis projects.
As recent ESPON evidence on globalisation shows, to strengthen competitiveness and to enhance Europe’s strategic linkages, it is of great relevance to better understand the territorial development of the EU neighbouring regions. ESPON’s contribution to the formulation of adequate policy strategies to enhance Europe’s competitiveness in the global context was in focus at the event.
Purpose of the event
The purpose of the Seminar was two-fold:
- debate and better understand the territorial development of structures, trends and perspectives in the Neighbourhood countries and cities by using ESPON evidence and tools;
- allow policy makers and practitioners to discuss themes for further mutual cooperation between Europe and its neighbourhood and approach new options for territorial development in the global context.
Welcome and Opening Speeches
Participants were welcomed by the Cyprus EU Presidency and the ESPON Managing Authority.
The opening speeches identified the main opportunities and challenges from a policy point of view for European Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in an enlarged territorial context and in relation to the territorial priorities of the TA2020.
This plenary session also gave the opportunity to present recent ESPON evidence, trends and perspectives on selected topics related to Europe and its Neighbourhood, which inspired the discussion on future ideas and demands for cooperation.
How to foster Europe’s competitiveness and integration through cooperation with neighbouring territories?
Under this headline the first day contained a mixture of plenary sessions and parallel workshops.
The round table discussion, which included speeches from representatives from relevant organizations covering the European Neighbouhood (i.e. EUROMED, VASAB and Barents Co-Operation), shared experiences and good practices in cooperating with different regions in the European neighbourhood to improve their territorial development and economic performance.
The discussion guided by a facilitator provided relevant inputs on ideas and demands for further cooperation to meet shared challenges and gain the economic advantages of increased territorial scale.
The key note speeches and the round table session set the scene for a more detailed discussion organised around the following themes: accessibility, transport, territorial factors for global competitiveness and growth, territorial cooperation at different scales, urban fabric, demographic change, core-periphery challenges.
ESPON projects were asked to contribute with territorial evidence and reflections on the territorial opportunities and challenges in Europe and its neighbourhood fostering competitivenees and ideas for further cooperation.
Territorial Diversity as an Opportunity to foster Europe’s competitiveness: Priorities for cooperation with the Neighbourhood
The second day of the Seminar opened with a special session on ESPON Tools which demonstrated the added value in better understanding and visualising territorial facts and development trends in Europe and regions.Parallel workshops followed, where ESPON projects presented territorial evidence related to specific topics.
The Seminar closed with a plenary session, where the audience was informed about the main outocomes of the workshops and invited to share their reflections.
The closing session provided information on the results of the questionnaires related to action 1 of the road map of the TA2020, on future activities of ESPON and on the plans of the upcoming Irish EU Presidency. Finally, the Cyprus EU Presidency thanked all participants for their active contribution to making the Seminar a success.
- Considering that the theme is interesting to a wider audience, ESPON will produce a report which aims at disseminating the main outcomes of the event. The report shall be published early 2013 at the ESPON website.
- Please find below the programme, the press releases and the presentations made during the event.
- Should you have questions please do not hesitate to contact the ESPON Coordination Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Photos: courtesy Elena Tziamali, Cyprus Ministry of Interior - Department of Town Planning and Housing; family photo credit: Cyprus EU Presidency. More photos are available in the next page, Link