Evaluation of the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON) programme

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Available languages : English
Period : 2007-2013
Date : 01/03/2013

The European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON) supports policy making by providing evidence and analysis in the field of territorial cohesion. The current programme has a budget of €47 million: 75% from the ERDF, the remainder from the 31 countries participating (27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

The European council at Poznan in November 2011 agreed that the role of ESPON should be strengthened in future and asked the Commission to conduct "an evaluation of the results of ESPON providing the basis for its future work".

The core of the evaluation was in depth case studies of 12 ESPON research projects – including peer review by academic and territorial policy experts. The case studies were selected to be broadly representative, examining recent projects from each of ESPON's four priorities, covering a range of subjects (e.g. migration, secondary growth poles, portraits of rural regions and indicators of territorial cohesion).

In addition, the evaluation included in depth interviews with monitoring committee members and other key stakeholders as well as discussion of the findings with a scientific committee of experts.

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