The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

ESPON 2020
European Spatial Planning Observation Network



The ESPON 2020 Programme was adopted by the European Commission on 12 February 2015. It aims at promoting a European territorial dimension in the fields of development and cooperation by providing evidence, knowledge transfer and policy learning to public authorities and other policy actors at all levels.

ESPON 2020 shall continue the consolidation of a European Territorial Observatory Network and improve the provision and policy use of pan-European, comparable, systematic and reliable territorial evidence.

The objective of the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme is to support the reinforcement of the effectiveness of the EU cohesion policy and other sectoral policies and programmes under the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) as well as of national and regional territorial development policies by producing, disseminating and promoting territorial evidence covering the entire territory of the 28 EU members states as well as the 4 partner states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Primary target groups are the following:

  • European policy-makers, in particular in the field of cohesion policy as well as other relevant sectoral and thematic policies and programmes;
  • national policy-makers and practitioners responsible for territorial cohesion, "European Territorial Cooperation (ETC)" programmes, macro-regional strategies and cohesion policy preparation and implementation at national level as well as other relevant policy fields;
  • authorities implementing ESIF programmes and preparing periodical reporting;
  • regional and local policy-makers and practitioners responsible for territorial development and planning and/or involved in cross-border, transnational and macro-regional cooperation;
  • organisations promoting different regional/urban interests at EU level;
  • university academics, both researchers and students as future decision-makers;
  • the private sector and the wider European audience.

Priority axes of ESPON 2020

In order to fulfil the strategy, mission and objectives of the ESPON 2020 Programme, two priority axes govern the Programme implementation:

  • Priority Axis 1: Territorial Evidence, Transfer, Observation, Tools and Outreach
  • Priority Axis 2: Technical Assistance (TA)

The organisation of the Programme implementation along two priority axes is closely related to the establishment of a Single Beneficiary, the ESPON EGTC, which is to implement Priority Axis 1 of the ESPON 2020 Programme.

Priority Axis 1 covers a single thematic objective of the ETC regulation and follows the investment priority on enhancing institutional capacity and efficient public administration.

Specific objectives

The five specific objectives that will guide the implementation of the ESPON 2020 Programme are as follows:

  • Specific Objective 1: Enhanced production of territorial evidence through applied research and analyses
  • Specific Objective 2: Upgraded knowledge transfer and use of analytical user support
  • Specific Objective 3: Improved territorial observation and tools for territorial analyses
  • Specific Objective 4: Wider outreach and uptake of territorial evidence
  • Specific Objective 5: Leaner and more effective and efficient implementation provisions and more proficient programme assistance

The total budget of the ESPON 2020 Programme amounts to 48,678,851.00 euros, the EU contribution is 41,377,019.00 euros.

More information:

Preceding programmes:

ESPON 2013
>> more information

ESPON 2006
ESPON 2006

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