This report may be used as a tool in the design of sound regional development strategies and provides essential information to policymakers and development practitioners. Regions differ from each other, economically – they compete over various products and geographical areas, exhibit different strengths and weaknesses, and provide different possibilities for growth and development. That which fosters growth in one region may hamper it in another.
This report presents an accessible methodology for identifying competitors and their particular circumstances in Europe, discusses regional competitiveness from a conceptual perspective and explores both past and future regional development policies in Europe. Underpinned with thorough analysis and theory, it presents a framework that uses actual networks of competing and economically valued relationships between regions to help develop smart specialisation strategies that are central in the place-based policy initiatives of a new European cohesion policy.