58th ERSA Congress “Places for People: Innovative, Inclusive and Liveable Regions“ 28 -31 August 2018, Cork, Ireland
The ERSA Congress “Places for People: Innovative, Inclusive and Liveable Regions” took place from 28 to 31 August 2018 in Cork, Ireland. In the 58th edition, there was a Special Session (S16) on “Disparities and Sustainability in Europe” closely related to main topics of RELOCAL project, and which was organised by some members of RELOCAL Consortium team. The session was organised by Patrícia C. Melo (ISEG/University of Lisbon), Angelika Krehl (Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), Dresden) and Conceição Rego (Department of Economics and CEFAGE-U.É., University of Évora).
This special session aimed to promote the discussion of spatial justice across disciplines (e.g., economics, geography, spatial and regional planning), taking on a multi-level spatial approach in the context of European integration. It takes EU’s Cohesion Policy as a political and social background for the discussion and evaluation of territorial cohesion and sustainable development.
Spatial justice is of great importance in the context of European integration not least due to the fact that there are substantial economic, social and territorial disparities between EU countries, regions, and localities – particularly after several rounds of enlargement and the global financial crisis in 2008.
The 7th Cohesion Report of the European Commission opens with the statement that regional disparities were narrowing again. This is good news by itself. Territorial cohesion, however, has not been reached, although it has come to be the third main objective of EU’s Cohesion Policy, along with social and economic cohesion. The average figures reported in the Cohesion Report do not reflect the fact that disparities among European regions remain, and in some cases have partly increased, during the last years.
How do these disparities manifest across and within EU countries? The goal of this special session was to cast more light on the evolution and patterns of regional disparities relating to economic, social or environmental dimensions of well-being. In doing do, there was explored how the different pillars of sustainability (i.e. social, economic, environment) complement or contradict each other. The session has sought answers to these questions in order to create a more detailed picture of the current inequalities in Europe and their development especially after the global financial crisis in 2008.
Below there can be found the presentation of the participants of the session:
- Unveiling ”hidden” inequality patterns in Europe: ”reality-check” at the lower geographical scale – Shinan Wang, Iryna Kristensen & Timothy Heleniak (Nordregio)
- Spatial effects of EU Cohesion Policy in Bulgaria – Veselina Georgieva (Sofia University)
- Spatial disparities in socio-economic performance across Portugal’s small areas – Patrícia C. Melo (ISEG/Universidade de Lisboa & REM/UECE) & Conceição Rego (University of Évora)
- Economic integration, structural change and uneven development in the European Union – Eleonora Cutrini (University of Macerata)
- Impact of the Great Recession and the Role of Assistance Programmes in EMU Countries – Leonida Correia & Patrícia Martins (University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro)
- Fiscal Decentralization and Inequality. An Analysis on Romanian Regions – Anca Gavriluta, Mihaela Onofrei & Elena Cigu (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi)
- What Is the Evolution of Convergence in the EU? Decomposing EU Disparities up to NUTS 3 Level – Diana Cibulskiene, Mindaugas Butkus, Alma Maciulyte-Sniukiene & Kristina Matuzeviciute (Siauliai University)
- Does country size affect the relationship between population density and labour productivity? Theory and evidence for Europe – José Pedro Pontes & Patrícia Melo (ISEG/University of Lisbon and UECE)