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The creation of the European Spatial Development Perspective, the reform of the Structural Funds, and the implementation of programmes to foster trans-national co-operation between governments, will all impact on UK government, and on planning system in particular. Even within the UK, devolution and regionalisation will bring new pressures for overall co-ordination on the issue of European spatial planning.

Issues concerning the revisions of the Structural Funds in and , and funding opportunities for local authorities, are closely connected with the theme of this book. More importantly, it is expected that the link between funding and spatial policy within British planning will become more clearly defined during this period.

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It also assisted in the development of the Compendium project Shaw et al. The European interest in planning therefore has a fairly recent history even if the scale of interest and its development have rested on informality and agreements to work together. The effect has been noticeable on two levels: at the member state level, for the most part only in terms of providing the political will and legitimacy to enter EU discussions; and, at sub-national level, in the development of planning policies, financing and resourcing of projects, fostering interregional cooperation, and in ensuring policy implementation.

Member states have therefore relied on sub-national levels of governance to ensure that planning has delivered substantively even if the decision to enter into cooperation with other member states has occurred in principle at the national level. The next section discusses some European spatial planning initiatives in more detail.

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First, it outlines the EU policy context as it has developed through the s, in order to remind the reader of the background to the operations of the various local planning authorities discussed in the research section, later in the book. Second, it brings the story up to date by identifying the main policy developments in the period from the mids to the beginning of the operations of the post funding period. However, the European Spatial Development Perspective ESDP had not yet reached draft publication stage, proposals for a continuing spatial planning study programme were in their infancy, and the Agenda proposals for the post period had not been published.

The latter is concerned both with Structural Funding and with one of the two dominant issues of the post political agenda, namely EC enlargement, with which the future of Structural Funding is intimately connected. The s saw a very substantial development of EU spatial policy. The decade culminated in the adoption of the European Spatial Development Perspective at the Potsdam meeting of ministers in May see Chapter 3.

The context in which EU spatial policy is likely to develop in the next decade will build upon the Spatial Development Perspective and the Action Programme subsequently agreed in October , within the framework of the revision of the Structural Funds for the funding period —6. European Union environment policy has largely developed independently of spatial policy, particularly since the Green Paper on the Urban Environment initiative was sidelined.

There has, from the later s, been a move away from policy making through legislation and towards the development of mutual support initiatives and incentives. When this entered into force in it amended the treaties by adding both an environment title and a competence over regional policy. Up to that date legislation in either policy field could be based only on the general treaty provisions, which required unanimity in the Council of Ministers. Regional policy had been strictly based on temporary agreements and could therefore be ended at any time.

This agreement was based on the concept of common overall objectives. Certain objectives were spatially targeted while others had more social objectives and applied throughout the EU territory see Table 2. As Table 2. Table 2. Enlargement in led to agreement on an additional spatial objective, Objective 6, to support Arctic communities. The third funding period, —6, is within a rather simpler structure, with only three overall objectives, and has been adopted in accordance with the Agenda proposals. The key spatial policy developments of the s have been widely discussed elsewhere see, for example, Davies ; Williams Ministers responsible for spatial planning have been meeting regularly, as Informal Councils of Ministers, since there is as yet no treaty competence in spatial planning as such.

This series of meetings started in Nantes in The committee now meets regularly under the chairmanship of the successive EU presidencies, and has played a central role in the preparation of the European Spatial Development Perspective. The revision of the Structural Funds is another matter.

In the longer 23 The European context term, it is possible to speculate that significant amounts of the Structural Funds may eventually be allocated through the structure of the transnational planning regions. Certainly, preparation for the possibility of this is one motivation for local and regional authorities which are participating in existing INTERREG programmes.

This was the central theme of the Agenda document CEC a.

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This set out the basic argument for the reform of the Structural Funds in preparation for the very substantial demands that are likely to be made upon them following the accession of former Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The basic pattern of Structural Funds which has been agreed broadly follows the Agenda proposals. On 21 June , after the agreement of the European Parliament, the European Council formally adopted new regulations for the Structural Funds. The Commission has set budget ceilings for each member state under each priority objective of the Structural Funds: Objective 1 for regions whose development is lagging behind ; Objective 2 regions undergoing economic and social conversion ; and Objective 3 national education, training and employment.

The Commission also established the list of areas eligible for Objective 1 funding for the —6 period, and the population ceilings for areas eligible for Objective 2 funding. These are used in different combinations in order to address the three priority objectives. Objective 1: Regions whose development is lagging behind Objective 1 aims to promote the development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind. Regions with a GDP per capita of less than 75 per cent of the Community average are eligible for Objective 24 A European context for spatial planning 1 funding.


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The Merseyside region remains eligible for Objective 1 funding in the —6 period. The Northern Ireland region and the Highlands and Islands region of Scotland, both of which were eligible for Objective 1 funds during the —9 period, now have a GDP per capita higher than 75 per cent of the Community average and are therefore no longer eligible for Objective 1 funding.

Aid will nevertheless continue to these regions until Objective 2: Regions undergoing economic and social conversion Objective 2 which replaces the Objectives 2 and 5b of the —9 period aims to support the economic and social conversion of areas experiencing structural problems. In July the European Commission decided the ceiling for the number of people in each member state eligible for Objective 2 funding, and for the United Kingdom this ceiling was set at The associated decision on EU Objective 2 allocations was made in direct proportion to the eligible population.

Objective 3: Education, training and employment Objective 3 aims to support the adaptation and modernisation of education, training and employment policies and systems and replaces the former 25 The European context Objectives 3 and 4. Objective 3 funds are not allocated to designated zones but rather are targeted on national policy priority outside the Objective 1 regions. Rural development policy The United Kingdom will also benefit from the part of the Common Agricultural Policy concerned with rural development and funded by the Guarantee Section of the European Agricultural Guarantee and Guidance Fund.

This support lies outside the policy framework of the Structural Funds.

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The EAGGF — Guarantee Section now supports a series of measures covering the whole of the European Union: early retirement from farms, financial support for Less Favoured Areas, forestry, the agri-environment, investment in agricultural holdings, the setting up of young farmers, training, improving the processing and marketing of agricultural products, and promoting the adaptation and development of rural areas. There are no designated areas for rural development, since all rural areas are eligible for support under the measures proposed. Under URBAN II, Community funding is made available for measures in areas that face a high concentration of social, environmental and economic problems present in urban agglomerations.

This involves a package of operations that combine the rehabilitation of obsolete infra26 A European context for spatial planning structure with economic and labour market action complemented by measures to combat social exclusion and to upgrade the quality of the environment.

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These projects promoted urban innovation as well as experimentation in economic, social and environmental matters on a smaller scale than URBAN, but have produced encouraging results, particularly as regards participative, integrated approaches to urban regeneration. The new URBAN framework for action recognises the importance of mainstreaming the urban dimension into Community policies, in particular assistance from the Structural Funds, and this requires the introduction of an explicit urban component into regional development programmes.

In both Objective 1 regions and Objective 2 areas, this approach means that the various programming documents under the Structural Funds should include integrated packages of operations in the form of integrated urban development measures for the main urban areas in the region. Such measures can make a vital contribution to balanced regional development or conversion. To enhance and exchange knowledge and experience in relation to sustainable urban regeneration and development in the Community.

The form the bid should take is that each city, town or urban neighbourhood to be supported must present a single problem to be tackled within a coherent geographical area and must also demonstrate the need for economic and social regeneration or a situation of urban crisis using relevant indicators.

A high number of immigrants, ethnic and minority groups, or refugees. It will also put a strong emphasis on cooperation and networking between rural areas. The different worlds of public administration, non-governmental organisations, social partners and the business sector in particular small and medium-sized enterprises will work in partnership, pooling their different types of expertise and experience.


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Central to the work of each Development Partnership will be its links with at least one partnership from another country and its involvement in a network of others dealing with the same theme across Europe. Promote the creation and development of networks of cooperation across internal borders and, where relevant, the linking of these networks to wider Community networks within the framework of the single market.

However, this border tends to be regarded as a special case and has not received much attention among planners on the British mainland. These were areas where a high level of interaction and interdependence over, usually, a short sea crossing occurred. The north-west coast of Greece and the southeast coast of Italy formed one such INTERREG area, which was of greater importance since the Yugoslav conflict effectively cut Greece off from traditional overland road and rail connections and made it an island within the European Union.

It is concerned with spatial planning cooperation at the transnational level within Europe. It is not confined to the European Union, however, since Central and Eastern European countries in transition are also playing an important role in contributing to the building of links between the European Union, the accession countries and those outside this process. The general European integration purpose is served in so far as INTERREG contributes to reducing the significance of national borders within the single market generally by promoting the spatial integration of regions of Europe, and specifically by helping to overcome the non-tariff barrier effect of different national planning systems and promoting cooperation between local and regional authorities in different member states.

To this end, all individual projects must involve at least two member states or participating countries. The vertical function attempts to provide the link between the European Spatial Development Perspective at the supranational scale and the planning activities of the local and regional authorities of member states. INTERREG funding is modest in comparison with mainstream budgets for such authorities, but can provide the stimulus for planners working at these levels to think beyond their local boundaries.

The whole of the United Kingdom is now eligible to participate in at least one of three transnational planning regions out of the total of seven designated under IIC, namely the North Sea, the Atlantic Space and the North-western Metropolitan Area. This chapter explores the further development of European interest in planning matters since the formulation of the framework document for the spatial development of the European Union as a whole, the European Spatial Development Perspective ESDP.

Although the research discussed later in the book antedates the development of the Spatial Development Perspective, this discussion is included here to provide a complete picture of the emergence of European spatial policy and planning. Following an introduction to the history of the preparation of the document, the chapter explores the themes of the European Spatial Development Perspective and assesses how they may potentially impact upon urban and rural areas. The Spatial Development Perspective is notable since it is a document that is intended to assist national, regional and strategic policy makers in each of the member states, even though it is a product of close collaboration between the various national government departments responsible for planning and their expert advisers.

It sets out an agreed framework for European spatial planning issues and rests on the political support member states confer upon it. The document was the outcome of a six-year process of preparation, although the proposals to produce a Europe-wide non-binding spatial common point of reference stemmed from the late s Williams , A number of versions of the European Spatial Development Perspective have been widely circulated. The growing importance of local and regional communities and their role in spatial development. The anticipated enlargement of the European Union and the development of closer relations with its neighbours CSD 7.

The cue for this objective stems from the UN Brundtland Report WCED , which not only discusses the need for sustainable development within the formulation of environmentally sound economic development that preserves present resources but also covers the need for balanced spatial development in the future. This, in turn, contributes to sustainable and balanced territorial development, and allows the Union to transform itself from an economic union into an environmental and social union.

As early as , when the Spatial Development Perspective was in its infancy, the Planning Ministers of the member states agreed three principles for the spatial development of the European Union. Securing parity of access to infrastructure and knowledge. Sustainable development, prudent management and the protection of the natural and cultural heritage.

The European Spatial Development Perspective therefore intends to encourage policy makers to forge links between existing EC sectoral and funding programmes and the need for an integrated approach to territory, on the one hand, and the future relationship between the urban and the rural 33 The European context on the other. These alternative patterns are to emerge from on-going processes of cooperation and coordination and focus on territory.

The Final version of the European Spatial Development Perspective develops a series of sixty policy options accompanied by appropriate rationales. More detailed analysis of underlying spatial trends is also provided as Part B of the overall document.