Actions putting the Territorial Agenda into practice

Understanding how sector policies shape spatial (im)balances

Region-focused Territorial Impact Assessment

Understanding how sector policies shape spatial (im)balancesInequalities between places and people are prominent in development discourses around the European Union, with notions such as ‘places that don’t matter’ or ‘places left behind’ or ‘the geography of discontent’.

The ‘Region-focused Territorial Impact Assessment (TIA)’ pilot action aims to better understand how different sectoral policies can shape spatial imbalances, focusing in particular on areas left behind and bringing the local levels to the forefront.

By developing a better understanding of policy impacts on territories, better policies can be designed in future which are place sensitive and address more effectively the needs of communities and citizens.

Rationale & link to Territorial Agenda

The Territorial Agenda 2030 addresses inequalities between places and people and advocates for a future for all places. The action aims to create a better understanding policy impacts on territories to design better policies that are place-sensitive and address the needs of communities and citizens. Instead of implementing different TIAs across different territories and eventually comparing their outcomes, the rationale builds on existing TIA methodologies and aims to develop and test the right blend of those that best serve the purpose of the pilot action. The pilot action builds on three innovative ideas. First, the focus of the TIA starts from the characteristics and needs of the territory and agreed development goals. Different types of territories can be included, e.g. urban, rural, cross-border areas to look at effects beyond borders. Second, the TIA aims to support integrated territorial development strategies at different levels of governance. Lastly, it aims to involve local and regional players in implementation.

Envisaged activities

The process of the ‘Region-focused Territorial Impact Assessment’ has three main phases:

  • Phase 1: Collecting showcase examples and introducing them to the participating stakeholders (incl. review of existing TIA methodologies and the impact policies on the indicated areas and types of territories) plus the pilot projects (PL-DE, SI, CZ, et al.)
  • Phase 2: Developing a flexible methodology for a tailor-made TIA, building on the results of phase 1.
  • Phase 3: Implementing/ testing the methodology in case study areas.

The pilot action combines joint and individual activities for the partners involved in the case study areas, including input on experiences, workshops, and verification of methods to the involvement of joint coordination experts.
ual activities for the partners involved in the case study areas, including input on experiences, workshops, and verification of methods to the involvement of joint coordination experts.

Envisaged lessons / results

Envisaged lessons / results A general methodology will be designed, which will serve as a basis for territorially adjusted approaches in each partner State. Thus, the methodology is a base to be adapted according to the different needs of the partners, e.g. ex-ante vs. ex-post vs. ongoing; strategy vs. funding instrument; different degrees of territorial sensitivity; several policies that are interrelated vs. one policy. The aim of the methodology is to be as simple and flexible as possible and adaptable to specific needs. Coordinating the different adjustments may be challenging, given the different stakeholders involved, different policies, types of strategy etc. To facilitate the process, the general methodology will also give advice for the required elements depending on the respective focus. Further reflections on the envisaged results include:

  • Learning about territorial impacts of different sector policies on specific territories, as well as learning about the specific needs of different territories and the variety and usefulness of different methodologies.
  • Connections will be developed through capacity building and networks between the participating local and regional stakeholders. With a view to covering the territorial impacts of sector policies, connections will be developed between policies.
  • The pilot action demonstrates how to usefully apply and work with the Territorial Agenda and its priorities. In particular, the pilot action can identify areas of good practice, such as increasing the capacity building of different ministries representing the different sectoral policies at hand.
  • Communication will contribute to dissemination, which will be achieved through cooperation with multiplier institutions.
  • Implementation is addressed by the pilot action’s aim to develop an easy-to-use TIA methodology ‘blend’ that can be used by the partners in their respective countries and regions and also be applied to others.

Envisaged dissemination

Capitalisation and valorisation activities will include the preparation of a final document on the guidance and experience of the implemented TIA as a common product (second half of 2022) that will be further disseminated.

Furthermore, final results may be presented in an international event in 2022, to present project results, open to all project partners, as well as international stakeholders and other interested participants.

Time planning

The project is envisaged to run from January 2021 until the second half of 2022.


Partners bring in own resources to cover own activities, e.g. funding, personnel and knowledge. Resources for joint activities will be covered by Lead Partner.

Indicative partners

Partner states are Poland (lead), Germany, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and The Netherlands and Luxemburg as an observer partner Additional cooperation partners are the European Commission, the European Committee of the Regions and ESPON, furthermore, partners from different governance levels in interested regions of the participating countries.

Lead stakeholder

Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Poland
Patrycja Artymowska (,

Key messages/ results/ updates

The pilot action is in the first phase of realisation – exchange and collection of the experiences of using Territorial Impact Assessment (TIA) by stakeholders at different levels of government. This phase aims to collect what is ‘already on the table’ on TIA to highlight that this is a useful approach for looking at policy effects. For a more thorough compilation of the showcases, a reference will be made to the existing TIA approaches and methods. These include the ESPON TIA tool, the European Commission tools[1] as well as other approaches described in the CoR file note on TIAs[2] and provided from the experience of the MS partners.

These references will give additional insights and information that there is a need for these methodologies to be newly combined for the purposes of the pilot action and develop a tailor-made practical approach building on existing methodologies. On this purpose on 28-29 of April dedicated training was organised by EC and ESPON on EU Commission work on TIA where TIA ESPON Tool, Rhomolo and Luisa models were elaborated.

6 th May Participation in the pilot action “A future for lagging regions: fostering the implementation of spatial strategies” kick-off event “Putting the Territorial Agenda 2030 into practice”, promoted by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) and the German Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR)
Date (Jan-Jun 2021) Main Activities
28th January Kick-off meeting 2021. After this meeting, phase 1 starts with collecting showcase examples and presenting them to participating stakeholders (incl. review of existing TIA methodologies and the impact policies on the indicated areas and types of territories) plus the pilot projects (PL-DE, SI, CZ, et al.)
15th February TIA team meeting
18th February Participation in the ESPON Joint session Pilots LAB TA2030, promoted by PT PRES & ESPON
25 th March Participation in the event “Territorial Agenda 2030: a future for all places, a future for rural areas”, integrated in the ‘Rural Vision Week: Imagining the future of Europe’s and promoted by PT PRES
28-29 th April Training on EU Commission work on Territorial Impact Assessments

[2] See (Gaugitsch, Dallhammer, Hsiung, Holstein, Besana, Zillmer, Kruljac, & Ulied, 2020)

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