The Territorial Policy Integration: The case of Barcelona and Its hinterland

Ms. Anna Antó

In this resarch we are considering the new concept named Territorial Policy Integration (TPI, from now on). This concept is different from territorial cohesion broadly. It means talking about spatial development instead of spatial planning. In this study we are looking for the coordination of different policies in a single territory and the capacities of this networked governance. In the last decade, an important European Union policy objective has been the integration of territorial development into other policy fields at EU and at national level. Following the example of environmental policy integration, we face the public good problem again.

The main infrastructures in the area are the harbour, the railway and the roads that cross the entire Llobregat's Delta. This territory is considered as the corridor of Catalonia. Is there a coherence to keep these big infrastructures and at the same time protect the natural areas and the farmlands? The big threat that was the Eurovegas project showed that this objective was not shared by some decisors-making. Is the Europeanisation process going to play an important role to protect one of the most fragile territories surruonded by the big urban conglomerate that is the metropolitan area of Barcelona?
The Territorial Policy Integration enhances the coherence of the sector policies in this territory in order to avoid future threats. Five years ago a huge project, named Eurovegas, pretended to eliminate all the policy coherence for protecting the Llobregat's Delta. The fact is that nowadays the same threat exists althoug the TPI is reinforced as a principle written down in the Lisbon Treaty. As this principle is not of compulsory nature, the Member States have the last word in order to accomplish this recommendation coming from the EU-level. In this research our main goal is to analyse in what degree this European recommendation (TPI) is being put in practice. The coherence of territorial policies implies the horizontal coordination between the different public policies impacting in the Llobregat's Delta. If we assume that a deeper Europeanisation is translated into a better horizontal coordination as a strategic value for institutions, we have to measure at which degree every public policy is working for horizontal coordination.