Policy Documents

Europe 2020, a European Strategy for Smart, Sustainable, and Inclusive Growth
Communication from the Commission, March 2010

Europe can succeed if it acts collectively, as a Union. We need a strategy to help us come out stronger from the crisis and turn the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. Europe 2020 sets out a vision of Europe's social market economy for the 21st century.

Download this file (Europe2020.pdf)Download the full report1271 kB

Cohesion Policy - ESIF 2014-2020
European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020
November 2013

Under the EU's 2014-2020 budget, Cohesion Policy will invest €325 billion in Europe's Member States. Taking into account the national contribution of member states, and the leverage effect of financial instruments, the overall impact is likely to be more than €500 billion. Investments under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will be concentrated on 4 key priorities: innovation and research, the digital agenda, support for SMEs and the low-carbon economy. The ESF allocation will be established according to the needs of each Member State, subject to a pre-defined minimum, resulting in a total of at least €70 billion.

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Common Strategic Framework 2014 - 2020 (CSF)
Commission Staff Working Paper, March 2012

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund (CF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) pursue complementary policy objectives and their management is shared between the Member States and the Commission. The Commission has proposed a Common Provisions Regulation for all five Funds, to ensure that they are better coordinated to avoid overlaps and maximise synergies, integrated fully into the economic governance of the European Union. The proposal foresees the adoption of Partnership Contracts which will set out the commitments of the partners at national and regional level, linked to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the National Reform Programmes. 


Territorial Agenda of the EU 2020
Towards an Inclusive, Smart, and Sustainable Europe of Diverse Regions  (May 2011)

The EU looks with confidence at the progress achieved in economic, social and ecological terms. Together the EU Member States operate a combined economy, which is about one third of the world-wide Gross Domestic Product. It is this economic power as well as a territory covering more than 4 million km2 and a population of 490 million inhabitants in a variety of regions and cities, which characterises the territorial dimension of the EU... [visit the T.A. website]


Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion - Turning territorial diversity into strength
Commision of the European Communities, 2008

Increasingly, competitiveness and prosperity depend on the capacity of the people and businesses located there to make the best use of all of territorial assets. In a globalising and interrelated world economy, however, competitiveness also depends on building links with other territories to ensure that common assets are used in a coordinated and sustainable way. Cooperation along with the flow of technology and ideas as well as goods, services and capital is becoming an ever more vital aspect of territorial development and a key factor underpinning the long-term and sustainable growth performance of the EU as a whole.


Fifth report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion
European Commission, 2010

Faced with large deficits and pressure from financial markets, most EU governments are in the process of implementing fiscal consolidation measures. In the midst of this, the EU has adopted an ambitious new strategy for long-term recovery, Europe 2020. Its key objective is smart, inclusive and sustainable growth. The aim of this Cohesion Report is to support the Europe 2020 strategy and highlight the contribution that regions, and Cohesion Policy, can make to meet these objectives. The report argues that the Europe 2020 headline targets cannot be achieved by policies formulated at EU or national level alone. Such an ambitious agenda can only succeed with strong national and regional participation and ownership on the ground. [access the website]


European Spatial Development Perspective ESDP
Towards Balanced and Sustainable Development of the Territory of the UE 
European Commission, 1999

The characteristic territorial feature of the European Union (EU) is its cultural variety, concentrated in a small area. This distinguishes it from other large economic zones of the world, such as the USA, Japan and MERCOSUR. This variety – potentially one of the most significant development factors for the EU – must be retained in the face of European integration. Spatial development policies, therefore, must not standardize local and regional identities in the EU, which help enrich the quality of life of its citizens...

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The Roadmap to a Ressource Efficient Europe - "The Roadmap"
COM(2011) 571 final
European Commission (20/09/2011)

The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe (COM(2011) 571) outlines how we can transform Europe's economy into a sustainable one by 2050. It proposes ways to increase resource productivity and decouple economic growth from resource use and its environmental impact. It illustrates how policies interrelate and build on each other. Nutrition, housing and mobility are the sectors responsible for most environmental impacts; actions in these areas are being proposed to complement existing measures. The Resource Efficiency Roadmap sets out a vision for the structural and technological change needed up to 2050, with milestones to be reached by 2020.

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Energy Efficiency Plan 2011 
COM(2011) 109 final
European Commission (08/03/2011)

The Union has set itself a target for 2020 of saving 20% of its primary energy consumption compared to projections, which translates into a saving of 368 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) of primary energy (gross inland consumption minus non-energy uses) by 2020 compared to projected consumption in that year of 1842 Mtoe. Recent Commission estimates suggest that the EU is on course to achieve only half of the 20% objective. Energy efficiency  is one of the most cost effective ways to enhance security of energy supply, and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Energy efficiency can be seen as Europe's biggest energy resource.

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Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area - WHITE PAPER 
Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system
European Commission (DG MOVE, 28/03/2011)

The European Commission adopted a roadmap of 40 concrete initiatives for the next decade to build a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment. At the same time, the proposals will dramatically reduce Europe's dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050.
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Download this file (Transport_white_paper_2011.pdf)Transport White paper 2011133 kB

Connecting Europe: The new EU core transport network
European Commission, 2011

The Commission has adopted a proposal to transform the existing patchwork of European roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified transport network (TEN-T). The new core network will remove bottlenecks, upgrade infrastructure and streamline cross border transport operations for passengers and businesses throughout the EU. It will improve connections between different modes of transport and contribute to the EU's climate change objectives.
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Energy Roadmap 2050
COM(2011) 885 final
European Commission (DG ENERGY, 15/12/2011)

On 15 December 2011, the European Commission adopted the Communication "Energy Roadmap 2050". The EU is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 in the context of necessary reductions by developed countries as a group. In the Energy Roadmap 2050 the Commission explores the challenges posed by delivering the EU's decarbonisation objective while at the same time ensuring security of energy supply and competitiveness. The Energy Roadmap 2050 is the basis for developing a long-term European framework together with all stakeholders.

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Download this file (com2011_0885en01.doc)Download Energy Roadmap197 kB

Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy in 2050
COM(2011) 112 final
European Commission (DG Clima, 08/032011)

The Commission recently proposed the Europe 2020 flagship initiative for a resource-efficient Europe  and within this framework it is now putting forward a series of long-term policy plans in areas such as transport, energy and climate change. Member States have committed themselves to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 20%, increasing the share of renewables in the EU's energy mix to 20%, and achieving the 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. The EU is currently on track to meet two of those targets, but will not meet its energy efficiency target unless further efforts are made. Hence, the priority remains to achieve all the targets already set for 2020.

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Download this file (com2011_0112en01.doc)Low Carbon Economy Roadmap163 kB

Blue Growth Strategy
Blue Growth opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth
European Commission (DG Mare), COM(2012) 494 final

Blue Growth is the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. It recognises that seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy with great potential for innovation and growth. It is the Integrated Maritime Policy's contribution to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

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Comparative study on the visions and options for cohesion policy after 2013
Fiona Wishlade, John Bachtler and Carlos Mendez requested by the Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the Union, European Parliament, 2011

This study provides a critical analysis of EU Cohesion Policy reform perspectives for the post-2013 period. On the basis of a literature review and budgetary modelling, the study offers an assessment of the policy’s strengths and weaknesses, the main reform ideas and counter-positions,including the implications of different reform proposals. Recommendations are derived to inform the position of the European Parliament in the upcoming negotiations on the legislative package of regulations.



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