The various regions within the EU are marked by a high degree of disparity with regard to their economic performance and productivity, and as regards their labour markets. Facing these regional differences, the task of regional and spatial sciences is to develop concepts and strategies to reduce and prevent territorial imbalances. Thus 'territorial cohesion' stands for a more balanced spatial development, and aims to improve integration throughout the EU. Although the term is used in many EU documents and strategies, its meaning remains vague and unclear. The scientific articles in this annual deal with the interpretations of this term, the challenges of European spatial development policy, and the problems and concepts involved in achieving territorial cohesion. Furthermore two short reports illustrate the implementation of territorial cohesion on the basis of two research projects.

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