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Documents on spatial planning in Europe

ESDP - Final version
(available on paper in the 11 EU official languages)

TERRA - Final report

Over the past ten years, the need to develop a strategy to steer the development of the Europeen territory has emerged as an important issue on the EU policy agenda. Following a series of inter-Governmental meetings at which key areas for co-operation in European spatial planning were identified, a first draft of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) was endorsed by Ministers in Nordwijk in June 1997. A wide public consultation exercise was then launched so that the comments and suggestions of interested parties could be integrated into the existing document.

The Commission contributed to this debate by organising eight transnational seminars which sought to address two issues. Firstly, to generate discussion on the key thematic areas proposed in the ESDP, and secondly, to consider the practical application of the ESDP in the various transnational co-operation zones on spatial planning set up under TERRA programmes, the Community Initiative INTERREG IIC, and Article 10 pilot actions.

In Echternach in December 1997, EU ministers proposed setting up a European Spatial Planning Observatory Network (ESPON). In the meantime however, in order to increase knowledge and understanding of spatial trends, the Commission Study programme launched in 1998 will continue to run throughout 1999.

In parallel, in 1998 the Commission prepared a working document on Community policies and spatial planning, which emphasises the need to take account of the territorial effects when formulating sectoral policies at EU level.

The results of consultations on the ESDP were presented at a Forum held in Brussels in February 1999.

The definitive text of the ESDP was adopted in Potsdam on 11 May 1999 by the informal Council of Ministers responsible for spatial planning.

Territorial and Urban Development sub-committee : Managing the Territorial Dimension of EU Policies after Enlargement - October 2003


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