Engaging in European spatial planning: a central and Eastern European perspective on the territorial cohesion debate
Cotella, G., Adams, N. and Nunes, R. (2012) Engaging in European spatial planning: a central and Eastern European perspective on the territorial cohesion debate. European Planning Studies, 20 (7). pp. 1197-1220. ISSN 1469-5944
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2012.673567
The following paper sets out to determine the differential extent of the engagement of Central and Eastern European (CEE) member states with the European spatial planning (ESP) debate over territorial cohesion. It focuses on the written statements submitted in response to the European Commission “Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion” consultation in 2009. The geographical distribution of the respondents is analysed, before CEE member states’ responses are examined in detail, to explore the diverse interpretations of the concept of “territorial cohesion” among CEE actors. While the data collection for this paper has been restricted empirically to the consultation process, it reflects its findings in consideration of member states’ engagement with the debate as it manifested before and after the Green Paper. The debate over the exact conceptual and operational “framing” of territorial cohesion, launched by the European Commission's Green Paper, constitutes one of the many arenas through which ESP currently evolves, together with the transnational initiatives developed in the framework of the European Territorial Cooperation objective, the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON) and the process that recently led to the publication of the Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020. The paper concludes that the overall level of engagement of CEE actors in ESP is proportionally lower in comparison with that of their northwestern European counterparts. The increasing involvement of some CEE member states within the ESPON 2013 Programme, as well as the activities undertaken by the Hungarian and Polish EU Presidencies in 2011, suggests that this level of CEE engagement is growing albeit differentially.