Shrinking Regions: a Paradigm Shift in Demography and Territorial Development (in French and in English)


The European Union, Russia and Japan are currently the parts of the world in which population growth is expected to be lowest over the next few years. This has implications in terms of not only external policy but also developments at regional and local level. In other words, economic, social and territorial cohesion policies as a whole are being affected by current demographic trends.

Shrinking population figures within entire regions are compounding and sometimes merging with the development disparity issues traditionally at the heart of EU cohesion policy. In the opinion of the authors, it is therefore necessary to review every aspect of this policy, including economic, social, environmental and, in particular, territorial issues. The problem of demographic decline must accordingly be met by means of a multilevel supraregional (European Union, Member States), infraregional (local authorities, conurbations) and transregional (cross-border and internal border areas) approach.