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ESPON Territorial Reference Framework for Europe project

The European Policy Centre (EPC) in cooperation with MCRIT, Spatial Foresight and Politecnico Milano has been carrying out an 18-month Applied Research Activity for the European Spatial Territorial Observatory Network (ESPON).

The overall aim of the ESPON project is to facilitate and inspire the revision of the Territorial Agenda post-2020, an action-oriented policy framework that supports cohesion in Europe by fostering both territorial and integrated policy development. A large participatory process has been carried out, leading to the definition of a new long-term Territorial Reference Framework. This should help informing and shaping the territorial dimension of EU strategic policies post-2020 and longer term cohesion goals.

The main output of the project will be a consolidated and integrated Territorial Reference Framework for Europe, which will involve the creation of a long-term territorial development perspective, as well as the setting of realistic and achievable mid-term policy proposals (up to 2050). As part of this process, EPC activities will aim to identify how a stronger focus on territorial specificities could help improve the effectiveness of EU policies and funding tools, including the current debate on the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

For more information and access to the project's publications, please visit the project website:


Policy Analyst
Economic Governance, Industrial policy, Regional Development, Research & Innovation, EU budget, Italy
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