ESPON Open Seminar “Opportunities and Threats for Territorial Cohesion: Blue Growth and Urban Poverty” Nafplion, Greece
The ESPON Open Seminar was held in Nafplion, Greece, on June 3rd to 6th 2014. Overall, 220 people, including policy makers, practitioners, scientists and experts were welcomed by representatives of the Hellenic EU Presidency, ESPON Monitoring Committee and Managing Authority.
This event took place at the crossroads of two programming periods; while the last projects of the 2007-2013 funding period are wrapping up, European regions and cities are actively engaged in preparing their new Operational Programmes for the 2014 – 2020 Structural Funds period. At the same time, the European Commission is working on the 6th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion that will offer new insight into regions’ progress in these areas and how the EU, national and regional governments have contributed.
The Open Seminar addressed the two priorities of the Hellenic Presidency, namely blue growth and urban poverty, in the context of the current economic crisis with the two-fold purpose of
(1) Allowing policy-makers, practitioners and researchers to share concrete experiences, discuss the use of territorial evidence and identify development options relevant to the two themes;
(2) Demonstrating the usefulness and capability of the ESPON knowledge base for policy-makers, practitioners and researchers alike.
Throughout delegates were introduced to the key findings of completed ESPON research projects and to new ESPON data bases and analytical tools.
The presentations made at the seminar are now available at the ESPON website
At the Seminar it was also announced that plans for the new ESPON programming period (2014-2020), including calls for funding, are nearing completion – watch this space for more information.
Irish researchers and practitioners attended the biannual meeting of European Contact Points, Transnational Working Group meetings, and the conference itself including:
- Gerry Finn (ESPON Monitoring Committee Member, Ireland)
- Professor Mark Boyle (ECP Ireland)
- Project Team “ESPON Update of Maps (2011-2014) – Filling in Data Gaps in the ESPON Database” : Martin Charlton; Dr Conor Cahalan; and, Dr Lars Pforte
The Irish team were also delighted to meet with Gavin Daly, formerly Ireland’s ESPON Contact Point but now a member of the ESPON Coordination Unit (CU).