Macro-regions and the European Union: The Role of Cohesion Policy

  • Irene McMaster
  • Arno van der Zwet
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)

Abstract

‘Macro-regions’ are an established concept in economic and political geography, as well as in spatial planning (Smith et al., 2002; Pain and van Hamme, 2014). As such, they are widely applied in a range of contexts. However, following the adoption of EU macro-regional strategies for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), the Danube Region (EUSDR) and the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), as well as an agreement in the European Council for a strategy to be developed for the Alpine Region (EUSALP), the concept of macro-regions has gained increased prominence in contemporary policy practice and debates. Under EU Cohesion Policy, a ‘macro-regional strategy’ is defined as ‘an integrated framework endorsed by the European Council, which may be supported by the European Structural and Investment Funds among others, to address common challenges faced by a defined geographical area relating to Member States and third countries located in the same geographical area which thereby benefit from strengthened cooperation contributing to achievement of economic, social and territorial cohesion’ (CEC DG Regio, 2014). In theory, EU macro-regional strategies are a new multilevel governance instrument providing an opportunity for new thinking about territorial spaces, the opportunities and challenges in these spaces and new thinking on forms of intervention.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Agerpress (2014) Financing Danube Strategy in 2014–20 is discussed in Bucharest, available online: http://bern.mae.ro/en/romania-news/2978 (accessed 21 November 2014).Google Scholar
  2. Antola, E. (2010) Baltic Sea Strategy: A Pilot Project for Macro-regionalisation in the EU, London Office, London: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.Google Scholar
  3. Baltic Sea Region Programme (2014) Cooperation Programme Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014–2020, Final version as of 21 May 2014.Google Scholar
  4. Bengtsson, R. (2009) An EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea: Good Intensions Meet Complex Challenges, SIEPS European Policy Analysis, Issue 9, Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  5. CEC (2008) Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion: Turning Territorial Diversity into Strength, Brussels.Google Scholar
  6. CEC (2009) Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, The Economic and Social committee of the Regions, Concerning the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.Google Scholar
  7. CEC (2009) Press Release, From the Baltic Sea to the Danube Basin — A Macro-regional Strategy for the EU: Commissioner Samecki to present new type of EU cooperation at Ministerial conference (Stockholm), IP/09/1326, Brussels, 16 September 2009.Google Scholar
  8. CEC (2009) Macro-regional Strategies in the EU, available online: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/cooperate/baltic/pdf/macroregional_strategies_2009.pdf (accessed 21 November 2014).Google Scholar
  9. CEC (2010) Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, The European Economic and Social Committee of the Regions, ’European Union Strategy for Danube Region’, 8 December 2010, COM (2010) 715 Final, European Commission, Brussels.Google Scholar
  10. CEC (2010) Fifth Report on Economic and Social Cohesion: Investing in Europe’s Future, Brussels: CEC.Google Scholar
  11. CEC (2010) Annual Report on the Baltic Sea Strategy, Brussels: CEC.Google Scholar
  12. CEC (2014a) Sixth Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion: Investing in Europe’s Future, Brussels: CEC.Google Scholar
  13. CEC (2014) Common Provisions Regulation, Regulation (EU) No. 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006.Google Scholar
  14. CEC (2014) Regulation (EU) No. 1299/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on specific provisions for the support from the European Regional Development Fund to the European territorial cooperation goal article 17.Google Scholar
  15. CEC (2014) Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions concerning the governance of macro-regional strategies.Google Scholar
  16. CEC DG Regio (2007) From INTERREG III to European Territorial Cooperation, Brussels.Google Scholar
  17. CEC DG Regio (2014) Macro-regional Strategies, Brussels, available online: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/policy/cooperation/macro-regional-strate-gies/ (accessed January 2014).Google Scholar
  18. Davoudi, S. (2003) Polycentricity in European Spatial Planning: From an Analytical Tool to a Normative Agenda, European Planning Studies, 11: 979–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Doucet, P. (2007) Cohésion territoriale de l’Union européenne — La gestation ambiguë d’un ambitieux projet politique, Les Cahiers de l’Urbanisme, 64: 6–11.Google Scholar
  20. EUObserver (2010) Cross-border “Macro-regions” Unlikely to Get Own Funding, 13 April 2010, available online: http://euobserver.com/regions/29852 (accessed 21 November 2014).Google Scholar
  21. INTERACT (2010) 20 Years of Territorial Cooperation, Interact, September 2010, available online: http://www.interact-eu.net/downloads/2476/Newsletter_INTERACT_Issue_2010_09_20_Years_of_Territorial_Cooperation.pdf (accessed May 2011).
  22. Jouen, M. (2008) Territorial Cohesion: From Theory to Practice, Notre Europe Policy Paper, 35.Google Scholar
  23. McMaster, I., Clement, K., van der Zwet, A., Vironen, H., Miller, S. and Granqvist, K. (2014) Ex Ante Evaluation of the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. Report to Report to the County Administrative Board of Västerbotten, EPRC, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.Google Scholar
  24. Mendez, C., Wishlade, F. and Bachtler, J. (2013) A New Dawn for Cohesion Policy? The Emerging Budgetary and Policy Directions for 2014–2020, Paper to the 34th meeting of the EoRPA Regional Policy Research Consortium at Ross Priory, Loch Lomondside, 6–8 October 2013.Google Scholar
  25. Mirwaldt, K., McMaster, I. and Bachtler, J. (2010) The Concept of Macro-regions: Practice and Prospects, EPRC, University of Strathclyde.Google Scholar
  26. OECD (2009) Trans-border Cooperation in the Pan Yellow Sea Region, Paris: OECD; Anderson, J. B. Mid-term Evaluation of Nordic Innovation Policy, Nordic Innovation Centre.Google Scholar
  27. Pain, K. and van Hamme, G. (eds) (2014) Changing Urban and Regional Relations in a Globalizing World, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  28. Perkmann, M. (2007) Policy Entrepreneurship and Multi-level Governance: A Comparative Study of European Cross-border Regions, Environment and Planning C, 25(6): 861–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Reinholde, I. (2010) How to Govern the Strategy? Whether to Govern at all…’, in Ž Ozoliņa, I. Reinholde and T. Rostoks (eds) The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region: A Year After and Beyond, Riga: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, pp. 41–58.Google Scholar
  30. Samecki, P. (2009) Macro-regional Strategies in the EU — A Discussion Paper, Stockholm, 18 September 2009.Google Scholar
  31. Schön, P. (2005) Territorial Cohesion in Europe?, Planning Theory and Practice, 6(3): 389–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schwartz, P. (2010) Central Baltic INTERREG IVA Programme 2007–2013: EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and Its Implication for ETC Programmes/Social Funds, Presentation, Bratislava, 16–17 March 2010.Google Scholar
  33. Scott, J. (2002) Cross-border Governance in the Baltic Sea Region, Regional and Federal Studies, 12(4): 135–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Smith, A., Rainnie, A., Dunford, M., Hardy, J., Hudson, R. and Sadler, D. (2002) Networks of Value, Commodities and Regions: Reworking Divisions of Labour in Macro-regional Economies, Progress in Human Geography, 26(1): 41–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stocchiero, A., (2010) Macro-regions of Europe — Old Wine in a New Bottle?, CeSPIi Working Paper, 65, Rome.Google Scholar
  36. van der Zwet, A., McMaster, I. and Bachtler, J. (2012) Governance Approaches in European Territorial Cooperation Programmes and the Implications of Macro-regional Strategies, Paper presented at ERSA Congress, Bratislava, 21–25 August 2012.Google Scholar
  37. Wishlade, E (2013) Cohesion Policy 2014–20: National Allocations, EPRC Policy Briefing, February.Google Scholar
  38. Zonneveld, W., de Vries, W. and Janssen-Jansen, L. (eds) (2012) European Territorial Governance, Amsterdam: IOS Press BV.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Irene McMaster and Arno van der Zwet 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene McMaster
  • Arno van der Zwet

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations