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Territorial Dimensions of the Europe 2020 Strategy

The Europe 2020 Strategy was launched in 2010 by the European Commission and represents the European Union’s growth strategy until 2020. Its aim is also to support the European Union in recovering from the current economic and financial crisis through smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. 

The Europe 2020 Strategy shall be implemented at different political levels, from local to European, to become effective. Sector policies at different levels and regional development policies play an important role here.

At EU level, future EU Cohesion Policy will also make a substantial contribution through an investment policy guided by a common strategic framework.

In the regions of Europe a differentiated implementation seems adequate, since the diversity of regional development potentials, challenges, imbalances and disparities are substantial across the EU. It is not possible for all European regions to contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy in the same way and to the same extent. Tailor made contributions by individual regions and cities seem to be the best answer.

This ESPON Atlas presents the territorial dimension of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

ESPON Atlas2020

Download the full Atlas 2020 report in PDF format 

The intention is to provide new territorial evidence from a European perspective in support of differentiated regional contributions to the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Atlas translates the strategy into a collection of texts and maps that illustrates the diversity within Europe.

In understanding the territorial dimension of Europe 2020, the Atlas illustrates major trends, potentials and challenges facing European regions and cities (for a selected number of indicators). 

It shows the regional diversity at different territorial scales and it presents observations related to types of regions, where relevant. Thereby, the Atlas points at main territorial patterns and trends and gives examples on regional development potentials related to the Europe 2020 policy aims.

By showing the regional distribution at European scale, the Atlas provides evidence for regions in comparing and benchmarking themselves on key indicators and towards the targets related to the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The Atlas first introduces the Europe 2020 Strategy. It then turns to present territorial dimensions of the three growth priorities defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy. Finally, it concludes with an overall territorial analysis of the Strategy.

The Atlas is based on the results of the ESPON SIESTA project (Spatial Indicators for a ‘Europe 2020 Strategy’ Territorial Analysis). This project was commissioned by ESPON in order to analyse the territorial dimensions of and the regional differentiation referring to Europe 2020. More detailed results and methodological explanations of the SIESTA project are available in the corresponding project reports available at www.espon.eu.


Table of Content

1 The Europe 2020 Strategy

2 Smart Growth
2.1 Research, Development and Innovation across European Territories
2.2 The Territorial Dimension of Education
      2.2.1 Regional Patterns of Basic Educational Attainment
      2.2.2 Territorial Challenges concerning Tertiary Education
2.3 Persisting Territorial Divide of the Digital Society

3 Sustainable Growth
3.1 Regional Disparities in Growth and Competitiveness
3.2 Territorial Differences in Energy and Climate Change
      3.2.1 Territorial Heterogeneity of Renewable Energy and Decreasing Energy Consumption
      3.2.2 European Challenges and Territorial Opportunities for the Transition towards a Low-Carbon Economy

4 Inclusive Growth
4.1 Territorial Patterns of Employment and Lifelong Learning
      4.1.1 The Territorial Dimension of Employment and Unemployment
      4.1.2 Territorial Differences in Lifelong Learning and Educational Attainment
4.2 Territorial Variations in Poverty and Social Exclusion

5 Conclusions: Territorial potentials and challenges, and the EU 2020 Strategy



Smart Growth

Sustainable Growth

Inclusive Growth

Conclusions: Territorial potentials and challenges, and the EU 2020 Strategy





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