12 Nov 2010

A few days ago, the European Commission published its fifth report on economic, territorial and social cohesion. Some things the RSA bloggers noticed about it: a) it's 301 pages long; b) the pdf file of the report is 161MB in size; and c) it's full of interesting material. Don't be put off by the length! Beyond the EU content, there are also interesting bits and pieces on the Balkans, Turkey and North America (see p. 17-19 for example).

As you can see from the image above, there is also a video associated with the launch of the report. This video is only 6 minutes long, and provides a good overview of key issues with examples of individuals who have benefitted directly from Cohesion Policy. There are also some words from Johannes Hahn.

Besides the usual array of maps (which mean it's not 300 pages of text!), there is some interesting data analysis (e.g. p. 102 using radar charts), landcover analysis (e.g. p. 136) and a look at sub-national public investment (p. 158). In short, there's lots to see.

But what are the main messages? These are flagged on the main web page and include the following:
  • Disparities between EU regions are narrowing
  • More developed regions are more competitive
  • Better co-ordination is needed between regional development and other EU/national policies
These reports are only published every three years, so you've got a long time to read this one before the next one lands on your desk or in your inbox...