Both the East-expansion of Europe caused by the removal of the Iron Curtain and the rizing concern of the EU in the Mediterranean area has brought up the need to cope with spatial development planning issues on European scale. The explicite jurisdictions of the EU in this respect are restricted to specific sectoral aspects, as agriculture, economic and social cohesion, environment etc.
There is a rizing interest in improving spatial coordination of both EU's and member states's spatially relevant activities (in the fields of planning, administrative implementation and budgetary allocation of public funds). Due to EU's efforts to extend its restricted jurisdictions and powers to areas of compentence claimed by the member states their proper realm, interests between EU and member states are clashing, needing political reconciliation, which could be reached by explicitely amending the Maastricht Treaty.
For political and scientific reasons European Spatial Development Policy is related to regional aspects, though political pressure has banned the appropriate regional terminology from the vocabulary describing the issue. Due his federal background, a German lawer might be in an more neutral position to discuss the issue of institutionalizing the new task of an European Spatial Development Policy, which will differ from "spatial planning" in the Britain sense as well as from the French "aménagement du territoire" or the German "Raumordnung" and should finally be based on a middle course between a centralised and a de-centralised approach of the issue.
After detailed, in particular German proposals to distinctly institutionalize European Spatial Development Policy in the Treaty of European Union a minimal consent by the member states and the Commission on launching an European Spatial Development Persepective appears the most likely poltical result of the considerations.
A working group of the (German Academy for Regional Research and Regional Planning recently laid down its view on this issue( see Annex) The contributor prepared the legal aspects of the paper, which he will focus in an updated form at the Toronto Conference.
Viktor Freiherr von Malchus (chair), Carl-Heinz David, Ulrich Höhnberg, Reinhard Klein, Paul Klemmer, Klaus R. Kunzmann, Welf Selke, Gerd Tönnies
Translation: Dr. Graham Cass, Dortmund