Connecting Europe to its Regions: Territorial Cohesion as a Toolkit for an Interwoven Spatial Development Approach


In this paper we wish to draw attention to the need of a stronger focus on national and regional spatial policy instruments and their possible contribution to territorial cohesion policy. The overview of the policy debates on European spatial development and territorial cohesion in the first two chapters shows how this aspect has remained somewhat underdeveloped until now. After that, we will show that the working package - recently lined out by the ministers responsible for spatial policy - nevertheless keeps the responsibilities for the Member States on board. In line with this, we wish to discuss the potentials of regions and of spatial policy instruments within the Member States towards more territorial cohesion. Finally we wish to conclude that in order to use these potentials the Member States and the Commission have to take on some severe responsibilities over the next couple of years.