This readme file describes the content of this package.
The core mission of the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme is set within the framework of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) goal which calls for strengthening of the evidence base in order to reinforce the effectiveness of EU Cohesion Policy and the achievement of its overall thematic objectives through:
“analyses of development trends in relation to the aims of territorial cohesion, including territorial aspects of economic and social cohesion, and harmonious development of the European territory through studies, data collection and other measures”.
Within this context, the ESPON EGTC is constantly striving to develop a knowledge base capable of delivering valuable, high-quality territorial evidence support to EU funded programmes for their strategic programming, implementation and monitoring purposes. Cross-border, transnational and interregional ETC programmes within the EU, and between Member States and neighbouring countries (Interreg, Interreg IPA cross-border and ENPI/ENI cross-border programmes) therefore comprise a very important stakeholder group for ESPON territorial evidence. These ETC programmes provide a framework for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges between national, regional and local actors from different member and partner states, and their regions. This is all the more important given that the challenges faced by countries and regions increasingly cut across national and regional boundaries and require joint, cooperative action at appropriate territorial levels and scales.
The Interact Programme also supports ETC programmes in their work through acting as a hub to allow programmes to exchange experiences and network, and encourage innovative ways of cooperating. A key tool maintained by Interact is the KEEP database which provides a centralised data platform for all ETC programmes. The KEEP database currently integrates ESPON territorial evidence through providing mapping and data on selected thematic issues. However, it is considered that there is an opportunity to significantly deepen and strengthen this integration through enhancing the range of ESPON territorial evidence available on the KEEP database while simultaneously improving the visibility, usability and practical relevance of ESPON to ETC programmes in concrete practice.