ESPON at the Open Days of the German Federal Government

The event, organised by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), took place in Berlin on August 30-31.

ESPON results were disseminated to a broader public as part of the Open days of the Federal Government. At the event, the doors were open to the public to give the opportunity to see how federal organisations work. The BBSR, being a background office of the Ministry, presented ESPON at its stand as well to let people get to know Europe through ESPON. The main topic of the Open Days was the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, an excellent opportunity to have a look at EU integration from a more historical perspective. Territorial development has been influenced by the enlargement of the EU, which has also a round anniversary; 10 years have gone since the Eastern post-socialist member states have joined the EU. The fall of the Berlin wall and the iron curtain as well as the enlargement of the EU created new borders. The formal borders have been eliminated, however there are internal borders between regions, regarding their level of development, competitiveness, social structure, etc. These borderlines do not necessarily between old and new member states. Not even between post-socialist regions and the former western block. They may be between cities and rural areas.

During the event, people had the chance to test their knowledge about Europe with a quiz and to expand their knowledge, based on ESPON results. The information materials of the Central European Group seemed to be very useful, informative and matching with the main topic of the event and the interest of the visitors. The highest interest was shown for topics as demography, economic activities and crisis, however visitors discussed with each other as well as the representatives of the ECP about Europe today, in the past and the possibilities in the future as well.