"ESPON has already produced useful and interesting insights into European territorial trends and we continue to make use of ESPON outputs in our planning and reporting. In 2007-2013, our joint effort will be a more strategic programme which will help us to formulate a better knowledge-based and more efficient cohesion policy" said Danuta Hübner in her speech.
The Commissioner said that the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions are committed to continue the ESPON programme noting that in the 2007-2013 programming period the programme will need to be more strategic, demand-driven, and selective. To respond to these challenges, the coordination and concentration mechanism need to be improved with a more active role of the European Commission and the communication strategy has to be reinforced. To that effect the Commission has decided to increase considerably the future budget of the Programme. The European regional development fund (ERDF) contribution is almost multiplied by 5 with a budget of € 34 million (instead of 7.2 today).
Regarding the outputs of the programme this new approach will provide for:
• more easily accessible, user-friendly spatial indicators;
• better comparability of data;
• support for concrete application and use of data for policy, strategy and planning processes.
The European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON) is set up to support policy development and to build a European scientific community in the field of territorial development. The main aim is to increase the general body of knowledge about territorial structures, trends and policy impacts in an enlarged European Union.
The current ESPON programme (2002-2006) is designed to support policy development by studying dynamics and imbalances linked both to spatial trends and policies, and the spatial impacts of other policies. Its aims are to:
• add value to existing national research by creating a European scientific community in the field of spatial development and planning;
• provide tools for better perception and application of ESDP policy option;
• improve the understanding of the spatial dimension of the Structural Funds, territorial cohesion policy and other Community policies;
• explore how territorial decisions, taken at Community, national, regional and local level can be better coordinated.
In the new programming period 2007-2013 the main aim of the Cohesion policy is to further help regions lead the way to economic and social modernisation. To this effect, the EU will make available over the period 2007-2013 about € 350 billion (in current prices) from its Structural Funds and instruments, which is equal to 35.7% of the Community budget.
Further information about European Regional Policy available at:
Further information on ESPON available at: