Researching European Territorial Cooperation: Nordic Specificities
Last modified: 2011-03-01
As part of the special session “Zooming in on European spatial perspectives in the Baltic Sea Region”, this presentation will give an insight into the relevant work done in the ESPON applied research project titled "TERCO: European Territorial Cooperation as a Factor of Growth, Jobs and Quality of Life" (2010-2012). The paper focuses on those special aspects of the Finnish-Russian border case study region which are important to consider in the design of and the analyses carried out within, this wider international research project. TERCO arrives at its crucial mid-phase in Spring 2011, when empirical research is carried out by the different partners in a number of very dissimilar case study areas, employing surveys and interviews. The Finnish-Russian border is by far not a typical EU border situation as it is located along an external EU-border with a non-candidate country and because it has a northern-peripheral situation and a sparse settlement pattern. Besides, it was spatially delineated according to the coverage of two Interreg III A programmes that involved this border area, and therefore, it is the largest among the TERCO case studies (excluding the transcontinental ones). This results in, among many things, the fact that the same “A” strand Interreg ‘cross-border’ cooperation programmes (one of the types of transnational territorial co-operation TERCO analyses in more detail) can be in fact, regarded as ‘interregional’ ones. This in turn, has a consequence to the approaches, organisation, and domains of the projects included under the ‘cross-border’ funding scheme in the Finnish-Russian case study area as compared to the other case study regions, and hence to the way findings and policy recommendations based on the case studies should be formulated.