ESPON releases today the final report of the applied research project EDORA – European Development Opportunities in Rural Areas. EDORA has studied the changes which are taking place in rural areas of Europe, and their increasing diversity, in order to develop a clear and consistent rationale for policy to enhance territorial cohesion.
The conclusions drawn from the conceptual and empirical findings of EDORA suggest that rural cohesion policy should operate at two geographic levels (macro-level, reflecting persistent systematic variation, and micro-level, addressing aspatial variations in territorial assets which constrain localities responses to exogenous drivers of change).
The report shows the importance of local context, resources or assets, in determining the capacity to respond positively to ubiquitous meta-narratives of change, which is the principal determinant of differentiation between regions.
In the final sections of the Report this concept is mobilised in a policy context in the form of neoendogenous asset-based development. The potential benefit of incorporating these ideas more fully within both EU Cohesion policy and Member State policy architecture, is one of the key practical implications of the theoretical findings of the EDORA project. More reading