38th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Europe Quo Vadis? - Regional Questions at the Turn of the Century", 28 August - 1 September 1998, Vienna, Austria
How to deal with regional disparities is a new challenge especially for the Vienna Region since Austria became a member of the European Community. The prevailing neo-liberal economic concept in the EC which primarily wants to demolish borders and bureaucratic obstacles in order to establish a large internal market is leading to a progressive integration of Europe. The recent development of polarisation and specialisation of main cities and urban agglomerations has consequences to the future urban system in Europe. Agglomerations on the external borders would probably get some problems. The federal system - the political administrative system and their advocates - on the one hand and the agencies for regional planning and regional policy aspects on the other are not necessarily congruent. This inner system needs renewal. 1st for the inner problems itself and 2nd a larger scale of sight is necessary for handling the competition between regions. Models of best practice are sought for the above mentioned developments. This led to an initiatve by the Federal Chamber of Labour as a local agent in 1994: A new model of regional cooperation for the Vienna Region was introduced. It proposes a bottom up strategy of policy making by demanding participation concepts inviting all local and regional agents and experts, institutionalized as well as voluntarily organized groups. The new circumstances concerning the neighbourhood to the middle and eastern European countries lead to the dimension of responsiblity and social conscience of agglomerations along these borders in the process of integration.