6 July 2016, Bratislava: Meeting of the Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points (NTCCP) :
On 6 July, the Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points met in Bratislava under the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU. The NTCCP was established almost a decade ago to keep a coordination of debates and decisions on the European Territorial Agenda developed during every six-monthly presidency of the Council of the EU. In this occasion, the Historical Building of the National Council of the Slovak Republic hosted a very interesting meeting organized by the Slovak team at Department of Spatial Planning of the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic.
One discussion point concerned "Cross-Border Obstacles". And the second main issue dealt with "polycentric territorial structures and territorial cooperation". The ESPON EGTC presented a synopsis of the Policy Brief they are working out on this topic, addressing the main questions about policentrism and cooperation, and providing a draft table of contents. Some regional cases were also explained, such as the Visegrad + 2 Strategy and the Danube Region.
AEBR Secretary General Martín Guillermo Ramírez stressed the need to take into account the different scales. Most decisions are taken at national level, but regions are becoming more relevants, thanks to subsidiarity. This is crucial for cross-border regions, where polycentric development is extremely important as well. Macroregional approaches are another field where nation states may collide with regional and cross-border interests. Looking for a minimum common denominator of cooperation is necessary and may have an additional European added value. The AEBR also welcomes the prospective approach of the proposed ESPON Policy Brief.