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Geographic specificities in Europe: What are they? Where can they be found? How are they socio-economically relevant?

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Presentation on theme: "Geographic specificities in Europe: What are they? Where can they be found? How are they socio-economically relevant?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Geographic specificities in Europe: What are they? Where can they be found? How are they socio-economically relevant?

2 Mountains Mountain areas

3 What is a mountain area from a socio-economic point of view? Criteria of altitude, slope, terrain and relief LAU 2 area defined as mountainous if more than 50% of territory is classed as mountainous Majority of people live in valleys / at lower altitudes Many economic processes strongly linked to nearby urban centres What is a mountain area from a socio-economic point of view?

4 Mountains in Europe Area covered by mountain areas: 41.3% Population living in mountain areas: 25.5% Most mountainous countries: Switzerland (94%), Iceland (85%), Norway (83%), Turkey (83%), Greece (78%), Slovenia (77%), Austria (74%), Italy (62%) Most significant overlaps with other specificities 77% of population in Sparsely Populated Areas live in mountain areas 72% of islands* are mountainous, 54% of island population lives in mountain areas 14% of mountain areas are also coastal areas (*islands without a fixed link to the mainland)

5 Development opportunities and challenges in mountain areas ChallengesEffects of geographic specificity Opportunities Potential for renewable energies (hydro) Rough terrain Lower population densities Limitations for agriculture Access to services costly Tourism potential Transport infrastructure limited Harsher climate Closely knit communities Attractive living area “Unspoilt” landscape Fewer employment & education opportunities Unbalanced demography

6 Mountains Islands

7 What is an Island from a socio-economic point of view? Islands are characterised by a mix of geographical and behavioural traits that are better described by the term “insularity”. This implies that the following three conditions are met: In the main part surrounded by the sea; Dependent on centres of economic, social and cultural activity outside the territory; Peripheral in relation to the main centre of economic, social and cultural activity. The extent to which islands are affected by their uniqueness depends on their degree of insularity since islands are heterogeneous.

8 Islands in Europe

9 Development opportunities and challenges in island areas ChallengesHistoric LegacyOpportunities Internal governance Inadequate infrastructure Resistance to “imposition” High and volatile U Lack of diversification Big public sector Migration (empl. + educ.) Development restrictions Social divide Coastal settlement Media stereotypes Accessibility problems Missed dev. opportunities Barriers to integration Influx of migration Social claustrophobia Fiscal federalism Education potential (incl. languages) ICT potential Migration allows for new ideas & culture Protected areas & preserved landscape Tourism potential Renewable energy Social ethic & low crime Creativity hubs Traditions preserved Sharing culture Flexibility in skills Strong support network Legacy of dependence and exploitation Emphasis on human capital Geographical location Idyllic image Strong identity Tight-knit communities High cost of doing business Detached governance

10 Mountains Sparsely Populated Areas

11 Sparsely Populated Areas in Europe Sparsely populated and poorly connected areas cover 24.2% of the land area in ESPON space, but only 3.7% of the ESPON population lives there Based on low population potential both after the 50km and 45minutes delineation, sparse areas are mostly located in the Northern Europe and in Mid-Spain Based only to 45min delineation, also in the Balkans, Turkey and in the mountain areas (like the Alps). Most significant overlaps with mountain and border specificities

12 Characterizing Sparsely Populated Areas Sparsely Populated Areas are usually rural, as the exploitation of natural resources has an important role in the economic legacy of those places, and still have an importance place in the SPA identity Agriculture (e.g. in Central Spain) Fisheries (e.g. in Scotland and Norway) Mining (e.g. in Central Spain, Sweden and Finland) Forestry (e.g. in Finland and Sweden) Sparsely Populated Areas are often enduring steady demographic decline Especially most remote municipalities within SPAs - The combination of two aspects tend to differentiate between Northern SPA and other European SPA Geographical scale of the phenomenon Proximity to agglomerations

13 Development opportunities and challenges in sparsely populated areas Two fields of policy initiatives have important leverage for the development opportunities of SPA Transport and ICT (combined!) Labour market Scarce or inadapted transport infrastructure creates sparsity and leaves many rural business communities isolated Entrepreneurs need to be able to reach out to and interact with extra-local partners Use of ICT may substitute by limiting the number of interactions, but not completely SPA are thinning out. Does it mean that the problem disappears? It becomes more acute Local labour markets are getting smaller, and more isolated, leading to weakening diversity and increased need for specialisation Local economies need to be more integrated between them and within wider networks. How do we achieved that?

14 Mountains Coastal areas

15 What is a Coastal Area from a socio-economic point of view? Socio economic characteristics of the European coasts are not uniform but unequally distributed Spectrum e.g. population density from one extreme, the coastal mega-city, to the other extreme, where large areas of European coasts are sparsely populated Wide range of socio economic activities that however concentrate in centers of activity Concept of ‘landing points’/ports are unique to coastal zones and reflect these patterns Ports are the primary gateways for many activities associated with the coast such as tourism, ferries, containers, oil, fishing, bulk In many areas development of port - basis of socio- economic activity in an area (port town/city historical influence – way of life)

16 Europe’s Coasts 28 of the 37 countries GEOSPECS investigates have coastlines The overall coastal area investigated is 1,343,847 km2 with a population of 206,454,334 34.67% of population within the GEOSPECS area live in a coastal region Of countries that have a coastline over 70% of the population of Portugal, UK, Ireland, Norway, Greece, Iceland, Cyprus, Denmark and Malta reside in a coastal area, while the coastal population of Romania, Poland, Montenegro and Lithuania account for less than 9% Most significant overlaps with other specificities: Islands, Sparsely Populated Areas and Urban Areas

17 Development opportunities and challenges in coastal areas ChallengesGeographic Specificity Opportunities Competition for space (e.g. between nature conservation, industry, tourism…) Migration/tourism impact on natural environment and cultural/traditional way of life (Urbanisation, ghost estates) Retirement of well off people exclusion of younger less affluent people Seasonal employment Dramatic weather events (storm/floods) increase with climate change Many different users and activities Scenic land and seascapes Coastal climate Changing dynamic environment Interest in the same environment /place can also drive innovation (need for agreement) Migration/tourism investment and job opportunities, better infrastructure/connectivity, Potential for renewable Energy (wave/wind) – new job opportunities

18 Mountains Border regions

19 What is a border region from a socio-economic point of view? GEOSPECS delineated border areas on the basis of a 45-minute travel distance to a politically defined borderline. This reference value corresponds to a reasonable proxy for the maximum generally accepted commuting and daily mobility distance and will therefore play a key role for a large range of socio-economic processes. By varying this time-distance parameter ( 45 min.) and mapping this, one can easily see that the scope of border areas varies considerably across Europe.

20 Borders in Europe Data for EU27 including NO, IS, CH and LI (based upon 45 min. travel distance delineation): Area covered by border areas: 661,000 km2 or 14% of total surface. Population living in border areas: 99,343,000 or 20% of total population Countries with highest share of border areas in total surface: LI & LUX (100%), BE (92%), SI (72%), SK (61%), NL (60%), CZ (52%) and CH (49%). Countries with highest share of border area population: LI & LUX (100%), BE (84%), CH (75%), SI (68%), SK & AT (66%), NL (51%) and CZ (49%). Most significant overlaps with other specificities: Most likely mountain areas (in absolute) & sparsely populated areas (only Scandinavia)

21 Development opportunities and challenges in border regions At borders, different national political systems, regulatory frameworks, welfare state service provision or income redistribution schemes and cultural / linguistic settings or norms are meeting. These differences produce a variety of “positive border effects” and “negative border effects” in the areas close to a given border (i.e. i.e. the border areas).  Borders can act as a “relational interface” between territories, because the systemic differences generate specific regional or cross- border flows & exchanges in relation to other domestic areas and areas across the border (i.e. positive border effects).  Borders can act as an “obstacle” between territories, mainly due to political decisions which deliberately restrict flows and exchanges and/or because the above-mentioned politico-administrative, economic and socio-cultural differences hamper exchanges and interaction (i.e. negative border effects).

22 Development opportunities and challenges in border regions The considerable variety of real-life or imaginary border effects (i.e. existing as “instinctive attitudes”) generally creates in border areas a pattern of “half-circle social and economic relations”, i.e. with normally stronger relations to the domestic hinterland and comparatively weaker relations across the border. This pattern strongly differs from the usual pattern of “full-circle social and economic relations” which is prevailing in regions more centrally located within the domestic context, i.e. with normally strong relations to all the surrounding domestic areas.

23 Development opportunities and challenges in border regions Due to the specific context settings existing along each border, it is evident that the significance of border-regional and cross-border relations / interactions differs considerably across Europe. It is, however, also clear that all kinds of social and economic relations and interactions in border areas and with other areas located across a border are still not functioning in a way that comes close to what is normally experienced by areas located within the wider domestic territory.

24 Mountains Outermost regions

25 What is an Outermost Region from a socio-economic point of view? Although those regions are notably distinguished by a combination of geographical characteristics, historical and political specificities contribute to the delineation of Outermost Regions. This concept was introduced in 1997 by the Treaty of Amsterdam and OR’s specific status confirmed by the Treaty of Lisbon (article 349). If the delineation of OR is engraved in the EU Treaty, a specific legal disposition ensures that overseas territories can switch from OCT status to OR status (and inversely) without having to adopt a new EU treaty (example Mayotte or part of Netherland Antilles Versus Saint Barthelemy). In fact, OCT and OR share similar geographical specificities but different legal & political characteristics.

26 Outermost Regions in Europe 1.7% of the ESPON space are Outermost Regions, with 0.7% of population Distance from the capital of the Member State: Guadeloupe & Martinique (6800 km), French Guyana (7500 km) and La Réunion (9400 km) but direct frontiers with Non EU countries (Africa, Central & Latin America) The Azores: 9 islands that are dispersed in a area of 650 km. Canary archipelagos: 13 islands in a area of 460 km Small and mountainous area combined with high population led to high density and congestion problems (except Guyana: low density) In addition to these physical characteristics, one should add cultural diversity and historical backgrounds (colonialism, etc.) RegionsRemotenessInsularity Double insularity Small area Complex territorial morphology ClimateNatural risk AzoresXXXXXXX CanariasXXXXXXX GuadeloupeXXXXXXX French Guyana XX* XX MadeiraXXXXXXX MartiniqueXXXXXX RéunionXXXXXX

27 Development opportunities and challenges in Outermost Regions ChallengesEffects of geographic specificity Opportunities Remoteness, insularity, climate, etc. Economic and political dependency on the member state Weight of the public sector and traditional activities Demographic challenges Important migration flows & illegal immigration Cost of public infrastructure (investment & maintenance) Isolation (Accessibility internal & external) Small market / no exportations Lack of business initiatives / opportunities Human capital shortage Social conflict / delinquency Cultural diversity / dynamism Tourism potentials (sports / adventure, scientific, etc.) Research and knowledge hub Attractive natural resources EU single outlets in Non EU continent

28 Mountains Inner peripheries

29 What is an Inner Periphery from a socio-economic point of view? Inner Peripheries (IP) is a new concept in the European policy arena IP are considered in spatial planning and regional development as ‘places’ that suffer from socio-economic decline or stagnation The peripherality is not limited to the outer margins of any given territory The distances that contribute to determine the conditions for economic and social development are not the Euclidian ones to a hypothetical “centre”, but linked to the configuration of physical, social, economic, institutional and cultural networks. Conclusion: it is unfeasible to make ONE map of IP for the whole of Europe based on current data availability; the mapping should start at national level

30 Inner Peripheries in Europe IP are identified with a development concept that is not a question of urban or rural but of being a centre or a periphery, which implies that IP are found both in urban as in rural environments; IP are neither permanent in time nor in place, but appear and disappear in the course of the history of a region, differing in this aspect from the other GEOSPECS specificities; IP are initially recognisable by a population shrink initiated by the disappearance of the main economic activity; In general, IP are closely located to strong development centres associated with provision of Services of General Interest (SGI), defined by population, jobs, universities, hospitals, administrative centres, etc.

31 Development opportunities and challenges in Inner Peripheries Development opportunities High potential to fulfil needed functions in the region, not easy to be developed in the highly populated areas For example: new nature, tourism (e.g post-industrial cultural landscapes), primary production (food, wood, biofuels), residential areas for 65+ Challenges Regain the local identity Development of a long-term view, resistant to changes in politics Create a new entrepreneur network SMART use of subsidies and investments

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