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From Disparities to Diversity – Territorial Cohesion in the European Union

  • Thiemo W. EserEmail author
Chapter
Part of the German Annual of Spatial Research and Policy book series (GERMANANNUAL)

Abstract

Territorial cohesion – a not-so-new buzz word used at the EU level is electrifying the community of politicians as well as researchers involved in regional policy and spatial planning. Territorial cohesion received particular attention when it was recognised, first in the constitutional Treaty and then in the Reform Treaty of Lisbon, as a Community objective equal in importance to economic and social cohesion. Territorial cohesion is an objective and a concept which has gained supporters with a variety of interests and views.2 One of its advantages certainly is that the term allows for coverage of a wider range of concerns. However, in putting them all together contradictions are emerging which are becoming most apparent when trying to measure territorial cohesion and decide on policy action. Territorial cohesion is certainly not a regulatory policy, but instead a redistributive policy in the wider sense.3 And thus some kind of norms and the deviation from these norms, generally understood as disparities, in our case disparities with regards to territory, have to be defined indicating the need for policy action. E. g., in EU cohesion policy the economic and social cohesion is measured by disparities of regional GDP per capita.4 Territorial cohesion seems to be a more complex matter and there are demands for examples of a territorial cohesion index.5 Identifying indicators support the clarification of a concept; but just what scope of indicators should be used to justify policy action with regard to territorial cohesion is not clear.

Keywords

Social Cohesion Spatial Development Structural Fund Cohesion Policy European Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TrierTrierGermany

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