Centre for Rural Economy


TIPTAP: Territorial Impact Package for Transport and Agricultural Policies

From the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean, from cities to remote rural areas, the EU encompasses a rich territorial diversity

However there was a growing risk of increased territorial imbalance arising from the concentration of growth, innovation and production in the EU’s most dynamic regions. By contrast the concept of territorial cohesion suggested that all territories should have the opportunity to contribute to Europe’s growth and jobs agenda, making the most of their individual assets, while also ensuring social cohesion and conserving natural assets.

In October 2008 the European Commission published a green paper, ‘Territorial Cohesion: Turning territorial diversity into strength’ (SEC(2008)2550). It reported that, ‘The concept of territorial cohesion builds bridges between economic effectiveness, social cohesion and ecological balance, putting sustainable development at the heart of policy design’. The Green Paper recognised that while EU Structural Policies had a territorial dimension at their core, support under sectoral policies often did not have a specific territorial element. Better coordination between sectoral and territorial policies was also needed to maximise synergies and avoid conflicting policies.

Therefore to overcome the difficulties of uneven (and unforeseen) impacts of EU sectoral policies, there was a need for suitable assessment tools at sub-national level. In support of this, the TIPTAP project sought to develop a territorial impact assessment tool for ex ante policy evaluation which is operational at NUTS2 or NUTS3 spatial geography. Building on an existing tool, TEQUILA, TIPTAP was concerned with two sectors: transport (led by MCRIT, Barcelona) and agriculture (Newcastle University).

As its starting point TEQUILA required the specification of a wide range of indicators which summarised the economic, social, environmental and cultural impacts of policies. These were oriented along the three dimensions of territorial cohesion: territorial efficiency, territorial quality and territorial identity. At the core of the method was a multi-criteria analysis which calculated a single aggregate territorial impact for each NUTS2 or NUTS3 region for each policy examined. Separate indicator values were combined by means of weights, obtained from expert judgement, which reflected a) the relative importance of individual indicators within each of the three dimensions of territorial efficiency, quality and identity; and b) the relative importance of these dimensions. Territorial differentiation was achieved by a) a variable to express the intensity of the policy application on each region (such as expenditure under the policy), and b) a sensitivity vector calculated to reflect the local context (e.g. the much greater significance of LFA policy to some areas than others).