ESPON TERCO: European Territorial Cooperation as a Factor of Growth, Jobs and Quality of Life
The main theme of the project is European Territorial Co-operation as an Objective 3 of Cohesion Policy, in transnational areas and across internal/external borders of EU. It analysed five types of territorial co-operation: 1. twinning cities, 2. cross-border, 3. interregional, 4. transnational, and 5. transcontinental for the whole ESPON area as well as within nine case studies covering 19 countries. The main achievements of the project are: establishing the working definition of territorial co-operation, collecting data on the twinning-city network non existing before, applying new methods that had never been used in research on territorial co-operation (i.e. Structural Equation Models of successful co-operation or Network Analyses of Twinning Cities), detailed case studies on governance of territorial cooperation including EGTC. It carried out analyses at the various levels of beneficiaries/stakeholders, projects, programme, and regions. TERCO also investigated the impact of the five TC types on socio-economic development (indicated by economic growth, job-creation, and quality-of-life improvements) and various types of international flows (such as FDI, migration, and international trade). It also tackled the issue of the TC contribution to territorial integration. All TC types were examined for their current adequacy and future needs in terms of (i) geographical coverage, (ii) thematic domains, (iii) specific structures and (iv) governance.