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EU: Is regional planning foremost an instrument for business development?

Feb 01, 2007
EU regional planning ministers are to meet on 25 May 2007 to adopt a Territorial Agenda designed to provide a framework for future spatial development in Europe.
In doing so the EU intends to strengthen co-operation in the area of regional planning, as set out in the Draft of the EU Constitution.
In its statement on the Draft as it currently stands, CIPRA, the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps, criticises the fact that regional planning is seen first and foremost as an instrument designed to pave the way for business development, at the expense of ecological and social objectives. If, as set out in the Draft, metropolitan regions and cities are to be boosted and main traffic routes (trans-European networks) expanded, then CIPRA believes that the disparities between rural areas and metropolitan areas will only be accentuated. CIPRA therefore advocates strengthening rural areas by enhancing endogenous potential and promoting co-operation ventures between cities and surrounding areas as well as setting up stable partnerships between European regions. There are many instances were modern mobility services could achieve accessibility more effectively and in a much more environmentally compatible way than by adding to the infrastructure. Source: CIPRA International