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Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion. Turning territorial diversity into strength

Commission of the European Communities (2008)

This Green Paper opens the debate on territorial cohesion policy with a view to improving competitiveness and sustainable development throughout the European Union (EU).

Effectively, the widening of strategies implemented at Community, national, regional and local levels should enable:

  • an increase in returns of agglomeration and a reduction in disadvantages for all types of territories, in order to support their harmonious development;
  • improved links between territories, to ensure access to services of general economic interest, principally in the fields of health, education, transport, energy, information and communication technologies;
  • the promotion of cooperation between territories, in order to manage environmental and structural problems on the most appropriate territorial scale, as well as to create synergies of growth and innovation. Cooperation should be strengthened between cross-border regions in the new Member States and with the EU’s external borders.

Furthermore, cohesion policy should enable certain regions to make the most of their potential, in particular mountain or island regions or sparsely populated regions. In its efforts to deepen and clarify the concept of territorial cohesion, the Commission intends to consult interested parties on the scope of actions taken, the appropriate means of implementation to strengthen cross-border and transnational cooperation, the coordination of territorial and sectoral policies (essentially in the fields of transport, communication, employment, the environment, agriculture, competition and research), as well as on the opportunity to widen existing territorial partnerships to include new types of local players.

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