A Polycentric Process
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International Conference 'A New Geography for Europe: Polycentrism, Territorial Cohesion and Development', 23 januari 2004
Lissabon : [S.n.]
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SubjectInnovations in Spatial and Environmental Governance
Andreas Faludi, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands: A polycentric process, Contribution to Second Panel Discussion: "A more polycentric Europe?" Issue: What concepts, visions, actors, strategies and policies are likely to contribute in a more appropriate way to encouraging a new geography for the old continent? In the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) the territory of the European Union is portrayed as monocentric, and in this sense unbalanced. The new future geography which the ESDP is working towards is polycentric and thus more balanced, more conducive to what is currently being described as 'territorial cohesion'. Part One of this paper is about the new polycentric geography of Europe as envisaged by the ESDP. Part Two shows that according to the same ESDP a polycentric Europe implies polycentric European policy. Part Three discusses the Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC) as giving shape to a polycentric process. The paper culminates in a scenario of the application of a form of OMC adapted to the exigencies of territorial cohesion policy. This form of OMC involves not only, as has been the case in other applications of OMC, the member states, but also networked actors involved in transnational co-operation. The paper draws on a book, co-authored with Bas Waterhout, on 'The Making of the European Spatial Development Perspective' (Faludi, Waterhout 2002; see also Faludi 2002a) and on work since on the application of this document (Faludi 2001; 2003a) and on other follow-ups to the ESDP process. As soon as the Constitution of Europe in-the-making identifies territorial cohesion as one of the goals of the Union (Faludi 2003b,c; 2004), and if only under a new name, the ESDP process seems set to continue.
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