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Spatial Scenarios for the European
Jacques ROBERT
TERSYN (Strasbourg)
Before looking at the future: existing disparities
Characteristics of the scenario
Main objective: Awareness-raising about new territorial
challenges, search of appropriate policy responses and
revisiting issues related to the debate
Tool: Showing various possibilities for the long-term
evolution (2030) of the European territory
Approach: Two series of scenarios:
1. Large number of thematic, exploratory scenarios
related to driving forces taken separately
2. Small number of integrative territorial scenarios around
the policy orientations of cohesion and competitiveness
Method: Combination of qualitative/speculative and
quantitative foresight investigations
Examples of exploratory, thematic scenarios
 European borders open to immigration
 Growing socio-cultural tensions and insufficient
integration policies
 More investments in motorways
 Rural evolution in a context of open markets
and reduced CAP support
 Climate change: repairing instead of preventing
 Europe after oil peaking
 Europe as a market place: EU widening (40 EU
member countries)
What trends show: Population
Impacts of progressing globalisation
 New segments of the European economy subject to
external competition high-tech products, agri-products,
 Stronger territorial concentration of the benefits of
globalisation; increasing number of regions negatively
 Handicap of the fragmentation of the European economy
(stronger sensitiveness to external mergers; risk of outmigration of decision centres and high-level business
 European neighbourhood: demographic pressure from
south and south-east; demographic depression in the east;
intensification of traffic flows and needs for infrastructure
development; economic cooperation/competition and
integration of economic systems; European energy
dependence (Russia, North Africa)
Impacts of the new energy paradigm
Location of energy-intensive activities;
Evolution of mobility; substitution through telecom services;
Evolution of settlements (compact cities?)
Opportunities for regions with renewable energy sources
Opportunities for regions developing new energy technologies
Negative impacts on the accessibility of remote regions;
Likely positive impacts on the urban environment (hydrogen
• Risks related to: the revival of nuclear energy; the competition
between food and energy production in rural areas;
environmental damages resulting from intensive energyrelated agriculture and forestry.
Impacts of climate change
 Structural impacts:
- drought in southern Europe (impacts on the economy,
the environment and the production of hydro-electricity)
- mountain regions dependent upon winter tourism;
- potential positive impacts on the northern half of
Europe (new opportunities for rural areas and for winter
tourism in the Nordic countries)
 Impacts of natural hazards: river valleys, coastal areas,
forest areas in southern Europe;
 Less prosperous regions have less resources to allocate
to prevention and mitigation measures
Transport challenges
• Further intensification of traffic flows; saturation of
main corridors; transfer of flows to secondary networks
• Significant programmes of motorway construction being
carried out or programmed (environmental impact?
Coherence with the new energy paradigm?)
• Strong development of air traffic (low cost companies;
positive impacts on the accessibility of remote regions;
strong dependence upon energy prices; environmental
• Low progress of maritime and rail freight traffic
• Progress of the HST network: contributes to the
expansion of the pentagon
Scenarios’ features
The European backbone: areas of concentration of
flows and activities
Future territorial challenges and structural policies
 Many of the identified future territorial challenges will be
significant for the less-favoured regions, both in terms of
problems and potentialities
 Resources are necessary for: attracting retirees,
counteracting economic marginalisation and outmigration, developing prevention and mitigation
measures against natural hazards, drawing benefits from
renewable energy sources, developing efficient measures
of socio-economic and cultural integration
 While the Strategic Guidelines and the Funds Regulations
have only partially addressed the whole range of
emerging territorial challenges, there is a need to
consider them comprehensively in the implementation of
structural policies (2007-2013) and in the argumentation
for a continuation of Structural Policies after 2013