European documents

Principal European documents of importance for spatial planning 

Development of European strategies and spatial development and planning policies was conducted through activities of two central European organizations – the Council of Europe and the European Union. The first important event was the European Conference of Ministers Responsible for Spatial/Regional Planning (CEMAT), which was held in 1970 in Bonn, whereas the first major document was the European Charter for Regional/Spatial Planning, which was adopted during the 6th CEMAT session in Torremolinos (Spain) in 1983. The European Union started to develop spatial development and spatial planning policies only in the 1990s. The main difference between the policy and documents passed by these two political organizations relates to the spatial scope, with CEMAT documents covering a considerably larger number of European countries. Essentially, however, the adopted documents are complementary. The fact that there is no explicit obligation of implementation is the common denominator of all these documents, because neither the Council of Europe nor the European Union has competence in the area of spatial planning. However, these documents became so important in time that territorial cohesion became the third dimension of the Treaty of Lisbon.

European spatial development strategies and policies are not implemented directly, but through implementation of various measures and instruments, primarily within the European territotial cooperation (INTERREG) which relies on structural funds. Simultaneously, the number of national, regional and local strategies, policies and spatial development plans revoking these European documents is increasing. The most important ones among them are as follows: