The North Sea Region Programme 2007-2013 works with regional development projects around the North Sea. Promoting transnational cooperation, the Programme aims to make the region a better place to live, work and invest in. Read more about the Programme here
4 basic principles
Four Basic Principles
Spatial development is fundamentally concerned with where (in what area) development happens. It seeks to integrate work done in sectors such as transport, energy, research and development, environmental protection and many others in order to achieve sustainable development. When outlining your project idea you should consider the wider spatial and regional development implications of your work. It is important that you are aware of what sort of area your project will focus on (for example peripheral regions or rural towns) and how it will affect the areas/regions involved, in both the short and long term (i.e. what spatial impact it will have). When formulating your spatial approach you should use the spatial development strategies for the North Sea Region presented in the NorVision document (available for download here) and the strategies for the EU presented in the European Spatial Development Perspective (available here)
If international cooperation is between the governments of different countries then transnational cooperation is between different levels of government (e.g. local and regional), NGOs, research institutes etc. in different countries. Cooperation on this level should allow partners to identify and implement joint solutions to the problems they have in common.The results that they achieve should also be transferable to other areas in the North Sea Region. All project work has to be transnational: it has to be shared between partners from different countries and it must be shown that it would be impossible for one of the partners working alone to achieve the same quality of results. For more information please see the Fact Sheet on Transnationality.
Sustainable development is concerned with the integration of environmental, economic and social issues. For example, the economic objectives of any project must be balanced against the environmental and social objectives of spatial development. Project work should preferably contribute to environmental, social and economic goals and should not have a detrimental effect on any of these aspects. In this way balanced and sustainable spatial development can be achieved.
This is most easily illustrated by an example. A project involving educational institutions decides that it wants to develop a distance learning course for people in rural areas. If nobody but the educational institutions is involved in the project, the effectiveness of the course with regard to its contribution to spatial development will be severely limited. It is necessary to involve other sectors such as: local businesses and chambers of commerce who can say which skills are needed in the areas involved, local and regional administrations who can say which skill-building initiatives are already in place or planned, ICT companies who can give advice about the most suitable technologies, people living in the area who can contribute opinions about the content of, and access to, the course etc. In order for a project to be truly effective, it has to involve a wide range of sectors in decision-making at every stage.