Regional innovation and the new territorial governance. French and Spanish cases

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The European territories, especially in the southern and eastern peripheries, face various challenges linked not only to socio-economic globalization, but also to population aging and climate change. The regional innovation policy offers the possibility of facing these challenges and contributing to the cohesion - economic, social and territorial - provided that the specific characteristics of each territory are taken into account. Decentralization is a fundamental factor in the design of policies that clearly respond to the principle of subsidiarity of the European Union. In our work, we deal with the cases of Spain with a degree of quasi-federal decentralization with broad competences designed in the 1978 Constitution, and that of France that has progressively decentralized in the last decades until reaching the 2015 reform in which they reduced the regions from 22 to 13 in order to create functional territories that would help reduce regional divergences. Although in both cases there are marked differences between the territories, innovation rates are higher in the French case, while in Spain only the Basque Country is included in the group of strong innovators. The objective of this work is, therefore, to analyse the policies developed - design, objectives and financing- and the governance model -characteristics of the subcentral levels of government- in order to highlight their strengths and weaknesses.
cohesion, territory, innovation, governance