World regionalization and European Union: a territorial experiment for the competitiveness and cohesion paradigms
European Union regional policy includes both competiveness and cohesion objectives that have contradictory consequences for the European territory. In a global perspective, one of EU’s challenges is to maintain or improve its economic and geopolitical rank. This leads the EU to compare itself to other world regions. But the EU is quite an exceptional space: its political integration implies solidarity processes between European countries, mainly through the regional policy. This mechanism could happen in other world countries but not at the supra national level. In a global concurrence context other competitive world countries have not to “suffer” to that kind of mechanism that dedicates a part of their national wealth to the development of other countries.
To deepen this question and compare the EU to other world regions we implemented an experiment: we build some competitive and cohesion synthetic indicators and use them in a regionalization approach that includes no a priori spatial definition of world regions: EU space is not considered as a “sacred” space that should not be shrink nor enlarged. We will first present the method we implemented and then explore the world regions produced by both indicators. It will be interesting, to check what are the countries that should be “cut off” from the EU space to allow it to be the most competitive on the world stage, but also to see what would be the spatial configuration of other world regions if they had the same “cohesion” ideal than the European one.