Impact of Global Pattern on the EU Economic Growth and Urbanization

Impact of Global Pattern on the EU Economic Growth and Urbanization

Michaela Staníčková (VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic) and Lukáš Melecký (VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0111-5.ch013


Regional development policies based on local potential triggers a shift in the economic structure of territories. Exogenous and endogenous factors determine potential of regional development and it is necessary to use different indicators and methods to its evaluation. For the chapter purpose, it is required to define metropolitan and peripheral functions as well as urban areas in the form of geographic models, depicting their spatial distribution in the European Union (EU). Nowadays, regions are increasingly becoming the drivers of the economy. All regions possess development opportunities – however, use these options enough, and hence the competitiveness of regions must be efficient enough. The chapter focuses on dividing the EU NUTS 2 regions based on geographic models of the European economy into efficient and inefficient ones and identifying an optimal benchmark for inefficient regions as a strategy for enhancing their economic structure to measure regional efforts and progress.
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It is generally accepted that the level of economic development is not uniform across territories. On the contrary, it substantially differs. This plays an essential role in many research studies that made to assign an appropriate evaluation of economic and social development in the European area (Staníčková & Melecký, 2018, Balcerowicz et al., 2013, Easterly & Levine, 2012, Watt & Botsch, 2010, Ghosh et al., 2009). As human activities are related to economic development, localisation of economic activities and therefore affected by regional development, the way of measurement of the conditions of national development is essential and essential in the determination of a country’s socio-economic policies (Halkos & Tzeremes, 2005). The dynamics of economic, social, political and cultural change in the contemporary world are increasingly shaped by the pursuit and promotion of regional policies. This phenomenon is inherent in the European Union (EU) and is applied based on the subsidiarity principle (European Parliament, 2019). Nowadays, the EU is going through one of the most challenging periods since its establishment, with multiple challenges facing the region’s policy-makers. Recent years have seen a myriad of economic and social difficulties, i.e. stagnating economic growth, rising unemployment leading to social tensions, continuing financial troubles and sovereign debt crises in several countries, exacerbated by the fact that the future outlook remains uncertain. There is widespread agreement that the root causes of this prolonged crisis lie in the lack of competitiveness of many countries. The EU faces increased competition from other continents, their nations, regions and cities. Territorial potentials of European regions and their diversity are thus becoming increasingly important for the resilience and flexibility of the European economy, especially now in times of globalisation processes in the world economy (MacGregor Pelikánová, 2019). The EU, its regions and larger territories are increasingly affected by developments at the global level. New emerging challenges influence territorial development and require policy responses. Several European countries already are forming regional subgroups based on similar economic, political and security concerns. As these groupings form and solidify, they will mark the first considerable structural change in the EU. In order to explore the likelihood of changes in the structure of Europe’s geo-economy, Hospers (2003) has developed a tentative framework (“vision”) of spatial structural change arguing that areas with sectoral and institutional diversity provide the flexibility needed to absorb new techno-economic developments and to develop “new combinations”, three basic geographic models of the European economy differ, i.e. Pentagon, Blue Banana, Yellow Banana, and Sunbelt. However, the EU officially applies the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) classification – nowadays possible to be called traditional concept. In the context of the NUTS classification, the concept of Metropolitan regions continues to be applied in the EU. The phenomenon of metropolitan regions has already been much investigated and “planned” in crucial many policy programmes although it has not yet been comprehensively analysed from the spatial point of view and operationalised.

Key Terms in this Chapter

NUTS 2 Regions: Basic regions for the application of regional policies in the EU.

Globalisation: Globalization is primarily an economic process of interaction and integration that's associated with social and cultural aspects.

Economic Growth: Economic growth is an increase in the production of economic goods and services, compared from one period to another.

Urbanisation: Urbanization refers to the population shift from rural areas to urban areas, the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas, and how each society adapts to this change.

Metropolitan Regions: Region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing.

Competitiveness: Ability of a firm or a nation to offer products and services that meet the quality standards of the local and world markets at prices that are competitive and provide adequate returns on the resources employed or consumed in producing them.

NUTS Classification: Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics is a hierarchical system for dividing the EU territory for (1) collection, development and harmonization of European regional statistics, (2) socio-economic analyses of the regions and (3) framing of EU regional policies.

Regionalisation: Process of dividing an area into smaller segments called regions.

Geographic Model: Geographic model depicts the spatial distribution of socioeconomic activities, define and classify metropolitan and peripheral areas.

Efficiency: The comparison of what is produced or performed with what can be achieved with the same consumption of resources. It is an essential factor in the determination of productivity.

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