Fact based macro-regional cooperation for better decision making
The session provided a forum to discuss how a report highlighting trends in a macro-region could be even more relevant to local and regional stakeholders. The session started with a presentation on the Nordic Region and Nordic cooperation by Lise Østby, Senior Advisor on Business, Energy and Regional Development at the Nordic Council of Ministers, providing contextual elements. Julien Grunfelder, Head of Geographic Information Systems department at Nordregio and project leader of the State of the Nordic Region publication, then presented the process of how the State of the Nordic Region 2018 report was designed, produced and communicated by stressing the importance of making this publication a suitable source of information for the target audiences. Mikael Janson, representative for the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas, pointed out the importance of such a macro-regional publication, among others, and the need for follow-up to gain understanding beyond the “State” of a specific territory. Finally, Roberta Negriolli, from Region Lombardia, contributed to the session with the example of an interactive macro-regional mapping tool for the EU Alpine Region that is used as a knowledge platform by local and regional stakeholders.
The need for customisation of the tools and publications as well as the possibility of comparing a territory with similar territories were mentioned during the discussion as elements to consider for an even wider use of such knowledge by the target audiences.
Take away message
Macro-regional publications on the main socio-economic trends are of great importance for local and regional stakeholders in these areas. They contribute, among other things, to understanding the general context in which a specific territory is located. However, follow-up studies with more insight on specific topics or territories could only increase the value of such more general publications.