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Strategies for Regional Sustainable Development (REGIONET) An Integrated Approach beyond Best Practices

The promotion of regional and social cohesion as well as of environmental protection and sustainability are among the most important Community objectives. The thematic network REGIONET (consisting of 16 european partners) contributed knowledge that helped to better integrate environmental issues in regional development plans and management (also now needed for Structural Funds proposals) and to integrate environmental protection with economic development and social policy.

REGIONET had the following specific objectives:

  • The improved integration of sustainability issues in the regional development plans put forward to the EU structural funds.
  • An understanding of the relationship between the implementation of regional sustainable development and issues of regional and multi-level governance.
  • An integrated framework for evaluating regional sustainable development (methods and tools) at the European, national and regional levels.
  • The cross-fertilisation of sustainable development research and the establishment of regional partnerships.

The project explicitly addressed these issues by organising four workshops which brought together different stakeholders, i.e. policy-makers, researchers, business/industry, and users/consumers:

  • Workshop 1: “Strategies towards Regional Sustainable Development: The Users’ Perspective”
  • Workshop 2: “Regional Sustainable Development: Strategies for Effective Multi-level Governance”
  • Workshop 3: “Towards Regional Sustainable Development: Evaluation Methods and Tools”
  • Workshop 4: “Regional Sustainable Development: Results of the REGIONET Project”

The Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IOEW) was responsible for the cross-fertilisation and integration of results of the REGIONET project in Workshop 4, which are presented in the publication 'regional Sustainable Development in Europe'.