Town Planning Review

Discursive European integration: The case of Nordic spatial planning

Town Planning Review (2003), 74, (1), 11–29.

Abstract

This paper addresses the influences of the emerging European spatial development policy agenda on policies in five Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden—and explores the influence of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) on spatial planning in those countries in terms of European integration and network governance. The main focus is on how these influences are exerted and what they resulted in as regards planning and regional policy at the national level. There is evidence that links between European and national policy communities are helping to transform European guidelines into national policies—a form of discursive European integration. Finally, the paper discusses whether the present form of European spatial development policy will lead to a harmonisation of planning and planning systems in Europe. The overall findings indicate that while it may streamline planning issues across Europe it is unlikely to synchronise planning systems.

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Böhme, Kai