chapter  3
1 Pages

European Territorial Cooperation as“Soft Planning”

Since there are no formal competences for spatial planning at the EU level, European

initiatives to promote or manage spatial development frequently rely on “soft processes”

of coordination, negotiation and learning (Faludi, 2001, 2008a, 2008b) which are evident

in initiatives such as the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) (Benz,

2002; Faludi & Waterhout, 2002), the European territorial cooperation programmes

such as the INTERREG Initiative (Colomb, 2007; Waterhout & Stead, 2007; Faludi,

2008b; Stead & Waterhout, 2008) and, more recently, the European macro-regional

strategies. These three European spatial planning initiatives are of course very much

related: the development of the ESDP influenced the direction and content of INTER-

REG Initiatives (Waterhout & Stead, 2007) and INTERREG programming has in turn

influenced the content and structure of European macro-regional strategies (discussed

below).