The ESPON programme (European Spatial Planning Observation Network) was established to meet the needs of the EU and European Commission member states to extend the knowledge and scope of research in spatial planning from a European perspective. It is a research programme which collects and compares information on development trends throughout Europe, including current EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, Romania and Bulgaria.

ESPON programme focus

The programme focuses on the research of the territorial impact of sector policies on areas such as agriculture, transportation, research and development. Furthermore, it explores the influence of European structural funds on municipal areas, plays a key role in defining the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP), and creates links between research and spatial development policy in new Europe.

Programming period 2007 – 2013

The ESPON programme continues in the programming period 2007 – 2013 as OP ESPON 2013 under the goals of economic and social cohesion policy (ESH) called European Territorial Cooperation (ETC).