Previous ESPON programmes
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Previous ESPON programmes

ESPON 2006 (2004-2006)

The ESPON 2006 programme was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2004-2006 to support policy development and to build a European scientific community in the field of territorial development. The main aim was to increase the general body of knowledge relating to territorial structures, trends and policy impacts across the EU.  ESPON 2006 was replaced by the ESPON 2013 Programme.

Click here​ for information on the ESPON Programme 2004-2006.​


ESPON 2013 (2007-2013) 

​The ESPON 2013 Programme was adopted by the European Commission on 7 November 2007 with the aim of increasing the general body of knowledge relating to territorial structures, trends and policy impacts in an enlarged EU.​ This applied research programme in the field of territorial development provided policy-makers with systematic and new knowledge on territorial trends and impacts of policies that affect regions and territories within Europe, which can directly support the formulation and implementation of policies.

​The total ESPON 2013 programme budget was of €47 million, co-financed by the Commission and participating Member and Partner States. 75 % (€34 million) of the programme was financed through the (ERDF) under Objective 3 for European Territorial Cooperation and 25% was financed by the 31 countries participating in the programme including the 27 EU Member States plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The ESPON 2013 Programme revolved around the following four thematic priorities:

  • ​Priority 1 addresses applied research on territorial development, competitiveness and cohesion, focusing mainly on territorial trends, perspectives and policy impacts.
  • Priority 2 focused on targeted analyses based on user demand, by providing targeted analysis based on existing ESPON results to interested stakeholders.
  • Priority 3 targets scientific platform and tools by facilitating access to data and maps through a web portal and creating tools to visualise data and regional dynamics.
  • ​Priority 4 aims to improve capitalisation, ownership and participation by creating awareness of the European dimension of territorial development and stimulating transnational activities.

Malta’s participation in ESPON 2013 Programme

Under the ESPON 2013 programme, three Maltese partners participated in the following three projects:

(1) EUROISLANDSThe University of Malta was a partner in this project which aimed to deliver an appropriate reference work, and a set of policy recommendations and strategic guidance, to foster the sustainable development of European islands within the framework of the Single Market.

 (2) GEOSPECS: E-Cubed consultants, a Maltese private enterprise, were partners in the GEOSPECS project which aimed to provide a coherent framework to explain why specific geographical assets are often not fully exploited and why many areas with geographic specificities are still ‘lagging’ behind.

(3) ESPONTrainThe Malta Environment Planning Authority (MEPA) were partners in this project which aimed at making ESPON 2013 knowledge operational in a coordinated and transnational way for practical use at regional and local level.


Click here for more information on the ESPON 2013 Programme.


Click here​ for information on ESPON 2013 Reports/Projects.   ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​