European Spatial Planning Observation Network
The ESPON 2013 Programme supports the European regional policy through studies, data and observation of spatial development trends and with this is part of the Structural Funds 2007-2013, Objective 3 "European Territorial Cooperation".
The five Programme priorities are:
- Applied research on territorial development, competitiveness and cohesion: evidence on territorial trends, perspectives and policy impacts
- Targeted analysis based on user demand: European perspective to development of different types of territories
- Scientific platform and tools: territorial indicators and data, analytical tools and scientific support
- Capitalisation, ownership and participation: capacity building, dialogue and networking
- Technical assistance, analytical support and communication.
The following activities are, among other things, to be conducted under these Programme priorities:
- Cross-thematic and thematic analysis defining territorial potentials and challenges including studies of territorial trends and prospective studies
- Territorial impact assessments of EU policies
- Establishment of a support group of scientists (Knowledge Support System)
- Target-group-oriented analyses and support to experimental and innovative actions
- Joint actions related to other Structural Fund programmes, especially in the field "European Territorial Cooperation"
- Territorial European database including Territorial Monitoring System and reports on territorial development
- European seminars, synthesis reports and publications
- Communication strategies including national dissemination of results
More than 30 partners cooperate at the centre of the ESPON 2013 Programme: the European Commission, the 27 EU member states as well as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The Western Balkan states are to be offered the possibility of participating in a suitable way in research projects and studies depending on their interest and other political developments (accession applications or negotiations). Applications from further neighbouring states are to be decided in the individual cases.