Operational Programme: 'ESPON'

ESPON: European Observation network on territorial development and cohesion


Additional tools


The European Commission approved an EU-wide co-operation programme on 7 November 2007 for the period 2007-2013.

The official name of the programme is: "ESPON Observation network of territorial development and cohesion". This programme involves Community support for all EU Member States under the European Territorial Co-operation objective. The total budget is around EUR 45 million, of which the ERDF provides EUR 34 million.

1. Purpose and aim of the EU investment

The ESPON 2013 Programme shall support policy development in relation to the aim of territorial cohesion and a harmonious development of the European territory. It shall provide comparable information, evidence, analyses and scenarios on framework conditions for the development of regions, cities and larger territories.

In doing so, ESPON shall be facilitating the mobilisation of territorial capital and development opportunities, contributing to improving European competitiveness, to the widening and deepening of European territorial cooperation and to a sustainable and balanced development.

2. Priorities

To improve the knowledge of territorial development and cohesion, the ESPON programme will focus on applied research on territorial development, competitiveness and cohesion, targeted analyses based on user demand, creating scientific platform and tools, build on the knowledge already there and stimulate its dissemination.
The programme is structured around four thematic priorities.

Priority 1 addresses applied research on territorial development, competitiveness and cohesion, focusing mainly on territorial trends, perspectives and policy impacts.
Priority 2 focuses on  targeted analyses based on user demand, by providing targeted analysis based on existing ESPN results to interested stakeholders.
Priority 3 targets scientific platform and tools by facilitating access to the data and maps through a web portal and creating tools to visualise data and regional dyanimcs.
Priority 4 aims to improve capitalisation, ownership and participation through creating awareness of the European dimension of territorial development and stimulating transnational activities.

3. Managing Authority:

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme: 'ESPON'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Aplied Research Actions 17 317 512 1 924 000 19 241 512
Targeted Analysis 5 229 000 1 307 250 6 536 250
Scientific Platform and Tools 5 225 500 922 500 6 148 000
Capitalisation, Ownership and Participation 4 356 000 1 158 100 5 514 100
Technical Assistance 1 905 500 1 158 100 7 938 150
Total 34 033 512 6 469 950 45 378 012