Not to Split Hairs: EU Territorial Cohesion a Contradiction in Terms

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Amongst various territorial cohesion 'storylines', 'Coherent EU Policy' is its unique selling point. State territories as frames are unsuitable for spatial relations and functional areas crisscrossing state boundaries. However, if they were considered in earnest, states would become concerned. If this were to happen –which so far it has not and will not unless we change our thinking about the EU construct– then his would challenge their control over their territories. A defining characteristic of states being this, their ‘territoriality’, EU territorial cohesion policy would undermine their very existence as sovereign states, so it will always hurt itself on the wish of member states to sustain their control their territories, people and resources. Also, states will always have considerations other than managing various spatial networks in mind. Their integrity and prosperity and, importantly, their administrations retaining power depend on electoral consent articulated in and by territorially defined constituencies. Networks come second. Without splitting hairs, therefore, we may say: In an EU seen as a collection of member states, territorial cohesion is a contradiction in terms. One would have to consider another form, like an EU as an archipelago or as a cloud.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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