European Spatial Development Perspective

The European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP ) is a comprehensive spatial planning concept ( Spatial Development Concept ) at the European level, which was / 1998 adopted in 1999. It can be described as a "European master plan". It allows EU Member States to influence the spatial and provides the framework of spatial planning at EU level dar.

Predecessor of the ESDP was the so-called Europe 2000 program. It aims to ensure the coherence and complementarity of regional planning in the various Member States. It has no legally binding and the EU, no new powers in the regional planning area.


The ESDP aims to establish a spatially balanced development in terms of sustainability essentially. According to the Brundtland report includes not only the three classic aspects of sustainability ( ecological, economic, social ) contribute to sustainable development, but also provide a balanced spatial development. Aspects of which are

  • Economic and social cohesion
  • Conservation of natural resources and cultural heritage
  • Balanced competitiveness of the European space, since the spatial disparities continue to increase.


In line with the objectives of the ESDP three models were included, but these were already formulated in 1994. This is linked to the EU's spatial and settlement structure development should align:


The European Spatial Development Perspective is applied at Community level, at transnational, national, regional and local level. It also finds application in the so-called CEE ( Central and Eastern European countries). It is an important instrument for the formation of trans-European networks. It also provides a guiding framework for the European metropolitan regions. Although the ESDP for the participating States is in no way legally binding, it generally shows a high effectiveness, since participation and national implementing the goals of the EU are financially strongly encouraged.