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European city-regions in an age of multi-level governance
- reconciling competitiveness and social cohesion?

COST Action A26
European Concerted Research Action

closing conference, meeting programme

Objectives and benefits
The main objective of the Action is to increase the knowledge about the extent to which different forms of sub-national governance, with a particular focus on city-regions, enable the pursuit of economic competitiveness to be reconciled with the goal of social cohesion.

The Action thus involves a theoretical dimension to relate governance and policy fields in a contextual framework. Such a framework appears to be essential for studying and understanding the specific forms of governance structures in different localities across Europe. A reliable typology for treating forms and capacities of existing governance structures will be developed in order to make specific investigations. Moreover, the Action will provide qualified advice to political decision-makers and researchers on formation of governance structures as well as the institutional and traditional preconditions for successful policies. Additionally, the analysis will provide a wide range of government officers and politicians with detailed examples of benefits and failures from different types of multi-governance. Finally, the Action will contribute to basic research and thus improve understanding of governance and its relation to social structures in general. (For further details see the Memorandum of Understanding and List of Central References.)

Two parallel working groups have been established for the purpose to approach above outlined questions:

WG1: Sub-national dilemmas in an age of multilevel governance:
Key questions are:
How have priorities of key policy fields developed at various levels of government and how have such changes influenced the range of actors and their relative importance?
To what degree have political priorities shifted at national as well as local level of government?
Have shifts in priorities been accompanied by new forms of governance and what has been the impact on existing political structures?
How far have different tiers of government managed to incorporate non-governmental actors?
Which forms of relations have dominated the governance system regarding fields of policy?
Under which circumstances has success or failure been advanced by local governance relations?
Has fragmentation of government been recognised as problematic among political actors or is it assumed that the construction of various forms of governance compensates for the fragmentation?
Chairman: Willem Salet

WG2: Entrepreneurial cities between growth and welfare
Key questions are:
In what way the transformation towards more knowledge-based urban economies give rise to new processes of social exclusion/inclusion, and
How these are dealt with (if at all) when economic regeneration schemes and labour market related policies are implemented in metropolitan regions, typically involving actors from different political scales.
The comparison should enable the network to discuss:
Whether growth and welfare issues have become separate areas of concern (or to put it differently: are entrepreneurial strategies incorporating arguments about 'social capital')
What sort of skill-improvement schemes have been launched (solely focusing on the upper-end rather than the full spectrum of skills)?
To what degree will the initiatives taken work in the direction of social inclusion, e.g. integration of ethnic groups and marginalised persons at the labour market?
Chairman: Peter Ache (Dortmund)

Organisational Structures:
Hans Thor Andersen, Action Chairman
Metka Sitar, Action Vice-Chairman
Alan Harding, Meeting Secretary
Marina Hartl, Rapporteur
Willem Salet, Chaiman WG1
Peter Ache, Chairman WG2

Institute of Geography
University of Copenhagen
Øster Voldgade 10
DK-1350 København K
Tel : +45 35322568
Fax : +45 35322501

Forthcoming Meetings
2007 - September, Copenhagen, closing conference

CostA26 - restricted area

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