The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Research Project: Implementing the Territorial Agenda 2030 – local pilot actions and transfer of results at national and European level

Project briefing

  • Status Ongoing
  • Started July 2020
  • Programme MORO

The EU Territorial Agenda 2030 is a political framework agreement of the EU member states on the key objectives of spatial development in Europe. Under the German EU Council Presidency, the EU ministers responsible for spatial planning adopted this document on 1 December 2020. The revised Agenda calls for the first time to implement the Territorial Agenda goals – through dedicated pilot actions. Germany is taking the lead in a pilot action on structurally weak regions. In the context of this ongoing MORO project, the pilot action is implemented, professionally supported and evaluated.


In December 2020, the Territorial Agenda 2030 was adopted as a renewed version. More than before, the document is focusing on the practical implementation of the formulated priorities. The Agenda aims to contribute to a sustainable future for all places and regions in Europe. To achieve this, it takes up the challenges of recent years. These include, in particular, the recovery process since the economic and financial crisis, the significant readjustment of the European climate policy, the advancing globalisation and digitalisation as well as demographic change.

Europe´s regions exhibit heterogeneous starting situations and development potentials. Therefore, global trends have very different spatial impacts. The development gap between prosperous and densely structured metropolitan regions, on one hand, and sparsely populated, (infra)structurally weak regions, on the other, has increased in the past. This gap resulted in the all too frequent feeling of “being left behind”. The core of the new Agenda, to strive for equal living conditions in all regions, takes up a key element - not just of spatial development, but also of integrated urban development and of the EU Commission's Green Deal. In the context of the ongoing corona crisis, the provision of services of general interest in structurally weak regions becomes even more important than before. They increase the stability and resilience of regions, but also create new development prospects.

The pilot action to secure services of general interest is intended to strengthen integrated regional development and to mitigate the divergent development of the regions. This way, it links the issue of equal living conditions in Germany with the implementation of the renewed Territorial Agenda 2030.


Logo "Territorial Agenda. A future for lagging regions"

Under the lead of Germany, a European pilot action for services of general interest in structurally weak regions under the title “a future for lagging regions”. will be implemented until 2023. Three German regions and three regions from other European member states form a partnership. Multipliers are involved as associated partners at national and European level.

The project takes three dimensions into account:

  • implementation of the new and extended goals and priorities of the Territorial Agenda, using various instruments of regional and sectoral planning
  • support for selected model regions in Germany and Europe in securing services of general interest
  • strengthening of spatial strategies in the sectoral and political decision-making and deriving results that can be transferred to other regions

The pilot action focuses on sparsely populated areas with limited access to public services. Small municipalities, counties and supralocal associations exchange information across Europe on specific local and regional activities - for example in the areas of service provision and digitisation. Through that, a more effective linkage of regional and sectoral planning is tested.


  • German Association for Housing, Urban and Spatial Development
    Littenstraße 10, 10179 Berlin, Germany

    Jonas Scholze


  • INFRASTRUKTUR & UMWELT Professor Böhm und Partner
    Potsdam branch office
    Gregor-Mendel-Str. 9, 14469 Potsdam

    Martin Reents



  • Sina Redlich
    Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development
    Division RS 3 "European Spatial and Urban Development"
    Phone: +49 228 99401-2336

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