Territorial cohesion

Fair opportunities for all European citizens, wherever they live or work

“…people should not be disadvantaged wherever they live or work in the Union “…”The concept of territorial cohesion extends beyond the notion of economic and social cohesion by both adding to this and reinforcing it. In policy terms, the objective is to help achieve a more balanced development by reducing existing img21disparities, avoiding territorial imbalances and by making both sectoral policies which have a spatial impact and regional policy more coherent. The concern is also to improve territorial integration and encourage cooperation between regions.”

3rd Cohesion Report, European Commission, 2004

A particular attention for specific territories

“In order to promote its overall harmonious development, the Union shall develop and pursue its actions leading to the strengthening of its economic, social and territorial cohesion. In particular, the Union shall aim at reducing disparities between the levels of developmeimg25nt of the various regions and the backwardness of the least favoured regions. Among the regions concerned, particular attention shall be paid to rural areas, areas affected by industrial transition, and regions which suffer from severe and permanent natural or demographic handicaps such as the northernmost regions with very low population density and island, cross-border and mountain regions.”

Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, article 174, 2010

Our actions

Territorial cohesion is a transversal objective: every Euromontana activity aims to contribute to this objective. We simply list here activities that are explicitly dedicated to this theme.

Policy – representation

Euromontana has since its creation influenced the debate that led to the inclusion of the objective of territorial cohesion in the Treaty on the functioning of the EU.

Since then, the network has contributed actively to the different steps of the policy-making process on territorial cohesion:

To this end, Euromontana has collaborated with “Group 174“, an informallogo_ig_174 network of European organisations and networks representing mountains, islands and sparsely populated areas. These organisations pool their strengths and expertise to promote a constructive approach of development of these territories and to offer concrete proposals to the institutions.

These organisations notably contributed in a joint manner to the work of the Intergroup “Mountains, islands and sparsely populated areas” constituted at the European Parliament chaired by Boguslav Sonik (EPP) ( 2009-2014).


2014-2019: RUMRA, the new European Parliament Intergroup on Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas

RUMRA, the Intergroup RUMRAon Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas has been created in 2014 as a response to the growing needs of those living in non-urbanised areas of Europe, which are often underrepresented in public dialogue. The Intergroup is a forum for policymakers and civil society to discuss initiatives and legislation which could have an impact on the well-being and future of more than 113 million people living in these rural, mountainous and remote areas.

The intergroup is chaired by Mrs. Mercedes Bresso, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), and actively supported by three grass-root organisations: Euromontana, Rurality – Environment – Development (R.E.D) and the Future of Rural Energy in Europe (FREE initiative).

The Intergroup is divided into six different subgroups, namely:

  • Resource and financing for rural integrated development
  • RURBAN (Rural and urban interrelations)
  • Climate change and Energy
  • Living nowadays in rural areas (community, Rural Tourism) lead by Euromontana
  • Territorial quality products lead by Euromontana
  • Ultra peripheral and remote regions

Follow-up of cohesion-policy:

Euromontana has monitored the development of the 2014-2020 cohesion policy and has contributed to it, thanks to its position on “Toward Mountains 2020 process“.

The European Commission has also opened a revision process on other fields of high relevance to mountains and territorial cohesion such as regional aid guidelines. Euromontana has dedicated specific attention to this issue in 2011 and produced a document replying to the Commission consultation on the 26th April 2012. We have also replied to the consultation on de minimis on the 18th October 2012.

Projects & studies

Euromontana has conducted in 2008 a preliminary appraisal in preparationimg26 for the green paper which led to a reference report:

Euromontana follows and contributes to the work of several ESPON projects:

  • ESPON Geospecs – Geographic specificities: Euromontana contributes to consultations organised in the framework of this project.
  • ESPON INTERCO– Indicators of territorial cohesion: Euromontana participated in a stakeholders meeting organised on the 14th January 2011.


  • Inspiring programming for living mountains by 2020, 6-7 June 2013
  • Insuleur forum – co-organised with Euromontana on the future of European Cohesion policy for mountains and islands – 29 November 2012
  • Workshop “Addressing territorial diversity in Europe”, organised by Euromontana in the framework of ESPON TeDi, 5 November 2009
  • Euromontana Seminar “Implications of the green paper on territorial cohesion”, 19 February 2008

To know more, contact Marie Clotteau


To learn more

Key document