On Monday 24 March 2014 the SPS Chair co-organised a workshop on the new cycle of EU cohesion policy. The event was set up by the Regional Studies Association’s Research Network on EU Cohesion Policy, in collaboration with a range of partner institutions from Belgium (IES and Cosmpolis), Scotland (EPRC),   and the Czech Republic (Prague University of Economics), and was hosted at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

The programme put a strong emphasis on urban issues, with both keynote speeches and half of the sessions focused on the urban dimension of cohesion policy, the EU’s major investment policy focused on reducing economic, social and territorial disparities across Europe. The speakers included, among others, Jan Olbrycht, Member of the European Parliament and one of the most vocal proponents of development of an EU urban policy; Prof. Rob Atkinson from the University of the West of England, who was advising the European Commission on its new breed of instruments supporting urban initiatives; and Peter Berkowitz from DG REGIO, one of the key architects of the recent reform of EU cohesion policy.

The workshop gathered well over 50 participants and included a host of contributions from academics and practitioners on issues such as urban segregation; the nexus between urban scale, social innovation and urban space; multi-level governance; EU cohesion policy reform; and the implications of  the unprecedented decrease in public and private investment for the European regions and cities resulting from the on-going economic crisis.

video with the talk by Jan Olbrycht can be seen here: 

Jan Olbrycht's  (MEP) keynote speech about the EU urban policy.

Jan Olbrycht’s (MEP) keynote speech about the EU urban policy.

Tassilo Herrschell speaking in a packed room.

Tassilo Herrschell giving a talk on shifting urban and regional scales in Skane/Oresund region.

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