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42nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "From Industry to Advanced Services - Perspectives of European Metropolitan Regions", August 27th - 31st, 2002, Dortmund, Germany
Policies of the European Union are of growing importance for spatial structures and the state of the environment within the member states of the EU. The reasons can be found firstly in the Structural Funds and secondly in the ruling competencies the EU has acquired in many fields of spatial and environmental relevance. Furthermore some specific instruments for spatial and regional development have been elaborated in recent years which are, however, legally not binding, at least if they focus on conceptual or planning aspects. As - in accordance with article 6 of the treaty of Amsterdam - "environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Community policies and activities", the question arises to which extent the goals of the Community's environmental policies have already been integrated into European spatial development policies. Furthermore it was intended to investigate whether the approaches on the European level can be used to foster sustainable urban and regional development in the member states, e. g. in Germany. On the one hand six instruments in the field of spatial and urban development have been analysed comparatively. On the other hand the results have been achieved by case studies in which examples of implementation processes and projects have been evaluated. The cases were selected from the Community initiatives INTERREG II (track A and C) and URBAN. The criteria for the evaluation of instruments and cases have been integrated into a profile of environmental requirements, based on environmental policy documents of the EU. The evaluation of framework documents showed that the goals of environmental policies of the Community are already taken into account in European spatial policies. The best examples in this regard are the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP), the "Action Plan for Sustainable Urban Development" as well as the Community initiatives INTERREG III B and URBAN II. The in-depth case studies led to the result that the analysed Community initiatives offer much room to realise environmental goals which is not always used adequately by local authorities and NGO's. Therefore the position of environmental stakeholders should be reinforced in the processes of program planning and approval. Moreover the instruments at EU-level should be linked more closely with related instruments at national level, e. g. local agenda 21 or regional development concepts.
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