Proximity to neighbouring regions and/or the nearest MEGA may stimulate
thoughts about possibilities for expanding territorial cooperation.
However, thorough consideration should in particular be given to
functional aspects and comparative strengths, which could be explored
through territorial cooperation, being it in larger geographies and/or
between MEGAs. Both complementarity and competition are important factors
in shaping a spirit of cooperation between areas. A strategic choice of
themes for cooperation is often defining where cooperation ends and
The European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON)
is set up to support policy development and to build a European scientific
community in the field of territorial development. The main aim is to
increase the general body of knowledge about territorial structures,
trends and policy impacts in an enlarged European Union.
It could be argued that there is a special challenge in forming
Global Integration Zones in various parts of Europe, with real scope to
strengthen territorial cohesion. MEGAs in cooperation could be the driving
force for such initiatives of territorial cooperation, creating growth and
jobs. The spatial situation of specific territories such as islands,
especially the small island nations of Malta and Cyprus, is significantly
different from that of continental territories.
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