3 mins

Region-focused Territorial Impact Assessment

The partners in the pilot action are Poland (lead), Germany, Slovenia, Czechia and the Netherlands. These countries will cooperate closely with the European Commission, the European Committee of the Regions and ESPON in establishing the action. Other Member States and organisations are also welcome to join the partnership.

Why Poland decided to propose a pilot action

In recent years, inequalities between places and people have been eminent in the discourse in Poland and in the EU, with notions of places that don't matterplaces left behind and the geography of discontent emerging and monopolising discussions and policies.

Strategic documents, such as the Polish National Regional Development Strategy 2030 prepared by the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy (lead partner of the pilot action) and the Territorial Agenda 2030, aim to address this challenge and advocate a future for all places.

The Cohesion Policy was designed to counteract inequalities and provide equal opportunities to less developed regions.

However, sector policies are also responsible for contributing to territorial development and addressing regional polarisation and fragmentation.

Against this background, the pilot action ‘Understanding how sector policies shape spatial imbalances through Region-focused Territorial Impact Assessment (TIA)’ aims to better understand how different sector policies shape spatial imbalances, focusing in particular on areas left behind and bringing local levels to the forefront.

By developing a better understanding of the policies effects on territories, better policies can be designed in future that are place sensitive and people centred and that therefore more precisely address the needs of places and citizens.

Implementation of the pilot action

The pilot action is divided into three phases.

Phase 1 involves collecting showcases and presenting them to the stakeholders involved. This means looking at existing TIA methodologies and the impact of policies that already exist on the selected areas and types of territories.

References to existing TIA approaches and methods, including the ESPON TIA tool, the ESPON EATIA project findings and the European Commission tools, as well as other approaches described in the Committee of the

 Regions file note on TIAs and provided through the experiences of the partners in this pilot action, will be made. These references will give additional insights and information and be adjusted for the purposes of the pilot action.

“The pilot action aims to better understand how different sect or policies shape spatial imbalances, focusing on areas left behind

During phase 2, a flexible, tailor-made and practical TIA methodology approach will be adopted, based on the methodology blend and the results from phase 1.

his new methodology approach will serve asmeans for creating territorial strategies, policies and programmes at different levels of government by assessing its impact at different stages of realisation (ex ante, ongoing orex post).

Phase 3 is about testing the methodology in selected territories, with stakeholders on the ground showing how the different policies affect different spatial structures and specific territories.

“The overall objective of the pilot action is to observe the impacts of or any conflicts between European, national and regional policies

The pilot action combines joint and individual activities of the partners involved in the pilot areas, ranging from input on experiences to workshops, the verification of methods used and the involvement of joint coordination experts.

expected results

The results will allow us to learn about the territorial impacts of different sector policies on specific territories, the specific needs of different territories and the variety and usefulness of different methodologies.

Connections will be developed through capacity building and the setting up of networks between the local and regional stakeholders involved. With regard to the territorial impacts of sector policies, connections will be developed between policies.

The pilot action will demonstrate how to usefully apply and work with the Territorial Agenda 2030 and its priorities. As good practice, ministries representing the different sector policies can increase their capacity building through participation in implementation of the methodology and in workshops.

Communication will contribute to dissemination, which will be achieved through cooperation with multiple institutions.

The benefits of carrying out TIAs for local and regional authorities will include bringing about the capacity building that they need to create development strategies at their respective levels.

This article appears in A regional geography of COVID-19

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