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From Cohesion to Territorial Policy Integration (TPI): Exploring the Governance Challenges in the European Union

By: Schout, J. A & Jordan, A. J (2007)

The European Union (EU) is searching for new approaches to manage problems that span different policy sectors. In the regional policy field, incompatibilities between the EU’s territorial development objectives and its transport, agricultural, competition and environmental policies, are well known. The need to integrate territorial policy concerns into these sectoral policies (territorial policy integration or “TPI”) has recently emerged as a key policy priority. This article examines the EU’s capacity to implement TPI. It does so in relation to two member states (Germany and the Netherlands) and the European Commission. It finds that the administrative implications of implementing TPI are far more demanding than any of these actors are currently able to handle. Moreover, some EU-level networks are potentially relevant to TPI, but these are mostly focused on regional policy matters (i.e. they are relatively inward looking). If these administrative issues are not taken more seriously, “integration” will struggle to make headway in an EU which is notoriously sectorized.

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