Territorial cooperation in Scotland-Norway-Sweden border regions

van der Zwet, Arno and Vironen, Heidi (2013) Territorial cooperation in Scotland-Norway-Sweden border regions. In: European Territories. Scholar, Warsaw, pp. 238-247. ISBN 9788373836433

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Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of some key aspects of territorial cooperation (TC) and territorial integration in Scotland, Norway and Sweden. The first sections of the chapter focus on the strengths of territorial cooperation in the case study area, discussing the cultural and geographical conditions, the underlying motivations and domains in which TC takes place, and governance structures. In the subsequent sections, the weaknesses of territorial cooperation and territorial integration identified in the case study area are discussed. These include inaccessibility and peripherality, lack of impact, and lack of engagement with some groups of partners, particularly private sector partners. The findings are based primarily on semi-structured interviews with 40 subjects in the case study area. The subjects included 12 interviewees from Norway, 12 from Sweden and 16 from Scotland. Care was taken in their selection to achieve a geographically representative range of participants. Subjects were selected according to the spatial levels they represented (national, regional and local), and staff from several TC programmes were interviewed (e.g. Managing Authorities, Joint Technical Secretariats, National Contact Points and Regional Contact Points). Beneficiaries of TC programmes were also interviewed (e.g. universities and colleges, regional groups, trusts). The interviews were conducted over the period 14 June 2011 to 10 November 2011. A number of documentary sources were also consulted, including regulations and draft regulations on territorial co-operation, and national and regional policy documents. Programme documentation (operational programmes, manuals, annual reports, evaluations etc.) was also consulted. European and national statistical data sources were used to provide the socio-demographical context of the case study area.