On 26 October 2021 the meeting of the Directors-General responsible for Territorial Cohesion (DG TC) took place via Webex. The event was held by SI presidency and attended by 23 Member and Partner states, European Commision, the Committee of the Regions, the ESPON EGTC, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and the European Investment Bank.
The meeting was focused on the TA2030 communication and implementation activities and on discussion regarding fostering linkages between Territorial Agenda 2030 (TA 2030) and Urban Agenda of the EU (UA EU) UA EU. Within quality of life (QoL), the focal theme of the SI presidency, ESPON EGTC presented draft ESPON Policy brief on Territorial quality of life and The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) representative presented ESPON Atlas on Quality of life.
Decisions regarding future communication activities, agreed upon at the meeting of the National territorial cohesion contact points (NTCCP) in September, and achievements so far were presented. Based on information, gathered at ESPON Pilot Lab, state of play of pilot actions (PAs) as the main TA 2030 implementation tool were presented, among them ‘A future for lagging regions’ and ‘Climate Action in Alpine towns’ in detail by their coordinators. Inspired by TA 2030, INTERACT started with the initiative ‘Bringing territoriality into INTERREG’. INTERACT and Interreg CENTRAL representatives presented ongoing activities and informed on the future steps; continue bringing communities of Interreg and TA 2030 closer together and raise territorial awareness.
Directors-General agreed on the presidency conclusion on fostering the linkages between TA 2030 and UA EU, based on the outcomes of the NTCCP and Directors-General on Urban matters (UDG) joint session in the framework of the NTCCP meeting. Support of the continuation of joint meeting between both groups and regular information exchange was highlighted among conclusions.
Following the ESPON EGTC presentation of the draft ESPON Policy brief on Territorial quality of life, highlighting a place-based and citizen-centric understanding of QoL, Directors-General discussed the ESPON approach to QoL. They jointly agreed upon the importance and added value of the approach. The final document will be presented at the ESPON seminar on 1 and 2 December 2021 in Bled. In addition to this document, in cooperation between ESPON and the Anton Melik Geographical Institute (ZRC SAZU), the Atlas of Quality of Life is being prepared on the basis of the ESPON methodology, which presents various indicators and assessments of quality of life for Slovenia and neighboring regions.