Territorial cohesion, broadly defined as the possibility for the population living in a territory to access services of general economic interest, is a relatively new concept, but which is increasingly gaining importance in the academic and policy-making spheres, especially in the European Union (EU). The objective of territorial cohesion, which builds on the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP), is to help achieve a more balanced development by reducing existing disparities, avoiding territorial imbalances and by making sectoral policies, which have a spatial impact and regional policy more coherent. It also aims to improve territorial integration and encourage cooperation between regions. Territorial cohesion complements the notions of economic and social cohesion by translating the fundamental EU goal of a balanced competitiveness and sustainable development into a territorial setting. The concept of territorial cohesion attaches importance to the diversity of the European territory which is seen as a key competitive advantage, the preservation of the European social model, and the ability of the citizens of Europe's nations and regions to be able to continue to live within their historically produced territories and regions. This paper analyses the relationship between polycentric development and cohesion, describes the key EU policy steps on territorial cohesion and presents an index of territorial cohesion.
|Status||Udgivet - 2008|