At an informal ministerial meeting in December 2020, the Ministers responsible for Spatial Planning and Territorial Development will agree on the Territorial Agenda 2030. A summary of the draft Territorial Agenda 2030 is available HERE and the full version is available HERE.
Why do we need a renewed Territorial Agenda? A green and just Europe can only be achieved by making use of the contributions of all places. Yet, increasing inequalities between places and people risk driving Europe apart.
What does a renewed Territorial Agenda want to achieve? The renewed Territorial Agenda will set out to ensure that the need for a sustainable future for all places and people is addressed appropriately, and that the territorial dimension and the diverse potential of places across Europe are taken on board by all relevant policies.
What will be the objectives of a renewed Territorial Agenda? The draft Territorial Agenda 2030 outlines two overarching objectives, a Just Europe and a Green Europe, broken down into six priorities for the development of the European territory as a whole and all its places:
- A JUST EUROPE that offers future perspectives for all places and people
- BALANCED EUROPE: Better balanced territorial development utilising Europe’s diversity
- FUNCTIONAL REGIONS: Local and regional development and less inequalities between places
- INTEGRATION BEYOND BORDERS: Living and working across national borders
- A GREEN EUROPE that protects our common livelihoods and shapes societal transition processes
- HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: Better ecological livelihoods and climate-neutral towns, cities and regions
- CIRCULAR ECONOMY: Strong and sustainable local economies in a globalised world
- SUSTAINABLE CONNECTIONS: Sustainable digital and physical connectivity of places
To encourage an open and honest dialogue the Finnish EU Presidency launched a survey concerning the proposed main challenges and priorities of the renewed Territorial Agenda. The survey was open from mid-December 2019 until the end of January 2020.
What happens next? The next steps towards the informal ministerial meeting are carved out during the Croatian EU Presidency in the first half of 2020, including Task Force meetings (January and March 2020), a meeting of the Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points (February 2020) and a meeting of the Directors-General responsible for Territorial Cohesion (April 2020). At these meetings, the exact formulations of the renewed Territorial Agenda and its priorities and governance mechanisms will be discussed.
Allow me to forward a few comments at this early drafting stage.
You should consider to present A JUST EUROPE using the following wording:
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT OF THE EUROPEAN TERRITORY
– Development in urban and rural communities in all parts of the EU
– Less inequalities between places by utilising Europe’s diversity
– Joint local and regional development creating additional value
The detailed text would of course need a minor adaptation.
Concerning THE WAY FORWARD, in the further development of implementation steps, do remember to give the European Commission a role, e.g. applying the territorial priorities in structural/sector policies, territorial impact assessments, etc.
The New Territorial Agenda should include references to the method of implementation, roles of the Member States and regions together with the European Commission General Directorates responsible for this.
More action is needed to increase visibility toward the expected pilot actions. When and how these actions has to be presented?
Please consider the following suggestions at this stage taking into account that I understand and support this simple and comprehensive presentation of policy options.
1. Balanced Europe: I would reformulate – Better balanced territorial development by a policy focus on small and medium towns (it is hard to sustain on how the territorial diversity can lead to a more balanced Europe from a scientific standpoint)
2. Functional regions: I would add the notion of polycentricity: Local and regional polycentric development …
3. Integration beyond borders: please consider including ‘Cross-Border and transnational Planning’, as this is the true territorial dimension of this policy component, in my opinion.
On the Topic “Healthy Environment” to a ”Green Europe” we propose to include references to The food basins , The water lines and water reserves sustainability (blues infrastructures).