|Network conference 1997||overview conferences|
Spatial Development Perspectives for the Danube Area
Budapest, December 1997
The fifth conference of the Network of Spatial Research Institutions in Central and Eastern Europe took place at Budapest/ Hungary on 4th and 5th December 1997.
All participants agreed that the most urgent challenges for the central and south-eastern European space are strong economic and social disparities, the process of overcoming the fundamental economic transition and, for parts of the area, the future integration into the European Union.
Discussion of these topics made it clear that spatial cohesion embracing a wider European space needs to be supported by the Joint European Spatial Development Strategy to be drawn up by the member-states of the Council of Europe, which will be presented at the 12th European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning (CEMAT) during the world Expo 2000 exhibition at Hanover.
The spatial research institutions in central and eastern Europe acknowledge the development of a joint European perspective as being a task for spatial development policy and are willing to support this effort through own activities in science and research. They will put in place the necessary transnational cooperation and focus the work of the network on this.
The participants of the conference welcomed the INTERREG II C Community Initiative as a new instrument for transnational cooperation in the field of spatial planning. They hoped that a wide use of the opportunities for spatial research cooperation will be made.
There are, however, major obstacles hampering the implementation of these joint cooperation endeavours.
There is a need to combine to a greater extent the regulations of INTERREG II C and PHARE as well as to utilize PHARE-funds for transnational cooperation in the field of spatial development. In addition, the support of information from governmental representatives to scientific research institutions, especially in the central and eastern European Countries, needs to be improved.