Baltic Sea Region Territorial Monitoring System

Cross-border analyses - Policy context

One of the key assets of EU is its spatial diversity. EU is rich of diversity of its cultures, landscapes, and nature. However in the same time EU pursues an ambitious goal to diminish discrepancies between different parts of the Union in order to allow all citizens fair level of living and development opportunities. The same can be observed at national level. For pursuing such a policy of maintenance of diversity while promoting socio-economic convergence the territorial measurement of both phenomena (i.e. main aspects of diversity, socio-economic well-being and prosperity) in space is of key importance.
One of a main vehicle for doing that are regional typologies. Conventional socio-economic and ecological data (accessibility, poverty, prosperity, soil sealing etc) when analysed together for different types of EU regions reveal fascinating trends, development mechanisms and prompt different policy mixes. Here the focus is not on policy territorialisation (as in the case of thematic scope) but rather on bringing together different policies in a right proportion in order to install necessary synergies and achieved more integrated public intervention. One of the outcomes might be installing comprehensive development programmes for specific types of regions requiring particular attention of decisions makers. Such type of regions are listed under Art. 174 of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Coastal zones, islands, including island states, mountainous areas, plains, river valleys and lake basins and other types of territories have special – often cross border – features, or suffer from severe and permanent natural or demographic handicaps such as low population density, which influence their development potentials.
For instance diminish peripherality of border regions (described by us more in depth) is one of the key policy concerns of many BSR countries in particular. Numerous cross-border programmes of EU have been installed in order to stimulate development of border regions and turn borders into development assets. Thus territorial measurement in such a case provides relevant information for establishment cross-border programmes, assessment of their overall consistency and allocation of financial needs to the areas demonstrating the most negative trends or offering the biggest opportunities in terms of activating their development potential.