The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

ESPON 2020
European Spatial Planning Observation Network

ESPON Contact Point (ECP)


The ESPON Contact Points (ECP) form a Europe-wide network of national contact points. They are represented by research institutes or public authorities depending on the country. Together, the Contact Points with their professional scientific background support the coordination of network activities within the ESPON Programme. For Germany, the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) is the national Contact Point and the national scientific interface to the ESPON Programme.

The ECPs mainly take on tasks that serve network building and support and also the communication of results and latest developments within the Programme to national and also regional levels.

The main tasks of the ECP are as follows:

  • to support the formation of Transnational Project Groups (TPGs)
  • to assist national project or lead partners in administrative, programme-related questions
  • to forward information to national stakeholders
  • to provide feedback from the national to the Programme level.

In order to communicate ESPON results, the ECP network has limited financial means at its disposal which it can use in the context of so-called transnational network activities. This means that ECPs from at least three different member states must come together as a Transnational Project Group. One ECP takes on the lead partnership.

The whole ECP network meets at least twice per year.

As ECP for Germany, the BBSR represents Germany's scientific interests in the network. The political interests are maintained via national representation in the Monitoring Committee, which, for Germany, is taken over by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community. Close contacts guarantee an effective representation of German interests within the ESPON Programme.

The seminars, which are conducted by the ECPs as transnational network activities, serve to communicate ESPON results to national and regional levels and also to report suggestions, criticism and ideas concerning the ESPON Programme. The seminars offer the possibility to process and communicate the most complex ESPON results to stakeholders and decision-makers in a topic- and space-related way.

Further activities of the German ESPON Contact Point are the following:

  • to assist German ESPON partners with administrative and technical questions regarding the Programme and to provide international and Germany-wide contacts,
  • to inform about results, latest developments, seminars, Programme products etc.

The newsletter of the ESPON EGTC periodically informs about ECP activities, events, tenders and projects of the ESPON 2020 Programme. It can be subscribed on the following ESPON EGTC website: Subscribe


Volker Schmidt-Seiwert
Division SU 3 – European Spatial and Urban Development
Phone +49 228 99401-2246

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