European Territorial Cooperation as a Factor of Growth, Jobs and Quality of Life


Thematic scope

Territorial cooperation is seen as one of the most important factors contributing to innovation which is key to the achievement of sustainable growth and jobs. European territorial cooperation facilitates the exchange between people and regions on experience and best practice in regional policy, irrespective of existing borders. The Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion of the European Commission put great emphasis on the importance of territorial cooperation. This project aims at providing evidence on potential drivers for cooperation, determinants and governance structures that could spark further interest of regions, cities and countries in entering into cooperation arrangements. This can also serve as support in defining future EU Structural Funds contribution to territorial cooperation areas.

Main results address

  • New evidence on (common) characteristics and critical mass for transnational and cross-border cooperation areas.
  • Insight on the different types of European cooperation areas based on new indicators, revealing these areas’ development opportunities, their socio-economic situation as well as their competitiveness.
  • Typologies of transnational and cross-border cooperation areas classified by territorial evidence revealing characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, potentials and challenges.
  • European maps showing a typology of different (possible) cooperation areas, the intensity and degree, as well as the territorial potentials and challenges for each possible cooperation area.


European Territories: From Cooperation to Integration publication includes three chapters authored by EPRC staff: Dr Irene McMaster, Dr Arno van der Zwet and Ms Heidi Vironen. The publication is part of the ESPON funded TERCO project and brings together new innovative research from leading academics in the field of territorial cooperation. The work discusses various forms of territorial cooperation - INTERREG A, B, C, twinning cities and transcontinental cooperation - and their impact growth, jobs and quality of life. EPRC authored chapters that provide a historical overview and evaluate territorial cooperation; discuss governance issues in relation to territorial cooperation; and a case study of territorial cooperation in Scotland, Norway and Sweden.

Copies are available here. 

  • Status
  • Completed
  • Project Launch
  • 31 March 2011
  • Project completed
  • 31 March 2012
ESPON territorial cohesion research social science