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EU MINISTERS AGREE HOW TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

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A complete draft of the European Spatial Development Perspective ...
A complete draft of the European Spatial Development Perspective

(ESDP) has been agreed by European ministers, meeting in Glasgow

with the European Commissioner for Regional Policy.

Speaking after the meeting last night, Richard Caborn, minister for the regions, regeneration and planning, emphasised the importance of

finishing work on the ESDP and of presenting it in an accessible way

to get its message across to a wide audience.

'When we consider the future of the ESDP, I am convinced that we

need to remember our real audience - the citizens of Europe.

Countries of the EU need to develop the ESDP as part of bringing all

levels of government closer to the people. If the member states of

the EU can help each other on this through the exchange of

experience, then the EU itself is working to serve the citizen. This

is in line with the prime minister's aim of creating a People's

Europe.

'The ESDP is tackling real issues: - the complexities of

improving transport flows across Europe - resulting in economic

benefits for some and greater pollution and congestion for others:

the development pressures on rural and urban areas and the need for

balance between them; whether new technology can help bring wealth to

some remote or poor areas. These are a few of the many areas where

co-operation across national borders and exchange of good practice

can benefit all European citizens.

'We must not lose sight of the concrete results, the real

improvements, that we - and the people of Europe - should get from

the ESDP, working together across Europe on planning for the future.'

The draft ESDP will be used as the basis for producing a final

report.

NOTES

1. The European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) is a

non-binding intergovernmental initiative based on

contribu tions from all member states. It looks at the main

demographic, economic and environmen tal trends which will affect

future spatial development in Europe. It seeks to foster cooperation

within and between member states and common approaches to shared

problems and opportunities. It aims to encourage balanced development

through an integrated approach across all policy sectors and at all

levels of administration.

2. ESDP looks at the main demographic, economic and environmental

trends which will affect future spatial development in Europe.

It seeks to foster co-operation within and between member states and

common approaches to shared problems and opportunities. It aims

to encourage balanced development through an integrated approach

across all policy sectors and at all levels of administration.

3. A first, partially completed draft of the ESDP was agreed by

ministers at Noordwijk in June 1997 as a basis for national

consultations and further development. The complete draft,

considered today, contains a new section on how the ESDP approach

should be applied in practice. It also reflects the results of

national consultations, including those in the UK, which were

completed earlier this year.

4. The European parliament and other European bodies have also

started to consider the ESDP and a series of European seminars is

being organised by the European Commission. Further information

on these seminars is available from the Commission: Eric Dufeil,

DGXVI, tel 00 322 296 0490.

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