With ‘Regional Territorial Agendas’ towards territorial cohesion? The emergence of supra-regional coalitions in Europe and their future role in Cohesion Policy
This paper focuses on current trends of regionalisation with supra-regional coalitions emerging in Europe. In the context of further European integration and institutionalisation of cross-border cooperation, functional integration in cross-border areas is developing. By exploiting cross-border territorial capital these coalitions might contribute to the concept of territorial cohesion as stated and upgraded in the European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon. The paper considers the right scale for these emerging supra-regional coalitions and their implications for the European Spatial Development Policy. When elaborating on the right delineation of supra- or transnational regional coalitions and about policy options, ‘territorial knowledge’ on territorial specificities, territorial capital and development potential is urgently needed. In border regions this includes cross-border functional linkages and interdependencies. The paper highlights an enhanced framework condition for cross-border functional integration and gives examples of supra-regional coalitions emerging in Europe, especially along Germany’s borders. It shows the difficulties with cross-border data availability for delineation of supra-regional coalitions in Europe and discusses the implications for European Cohesion Policy.