December 12th, 2016
Communities and territories
In Europe, territorial initiatives are now proliferating: most regions, local communities and territories have adopted local and regional development strategies with a range of different aims, such as:
- the need to react to a shock, particularly in mono-industrial regions or territories dominated by one company or a very small number of large companies that are undergoing massive restructuring or even closing their operations.
- the need to define economic strategies so as to be in a position to prepare local communities for new businesses and activities with regional and local forecasting and networking tools.
- the need to coordinate stakeholders at territorial level in order to make economic and employment strategies more effective.
- new competencies given to regions or municipalities.
What most of those proliferating experiences have in common is – in order to be more efficient – a need to foster partnerships at local level, to coordinate many different actors and stakeholders (particularly proactive cooperation between companies and the PES), and to develop measures that can be applied locally. However, territorial policies on restructuring are facing several challenges, such as:
- a lack of capacity to act (competences, funds, forecasting and monitoring tools), and in some countries unclear responsibilities in the context of restructuring;
- a complex division of tasks between national, regional and local levels on the one hand and, on the other hand, the weakness of territorial social partners due to the fact that social dialogue is mainly structured at national, sector and company levels;
- the ability to combine medium- and long-term development strategies, which link up with responses to short-term crises and create concrete solutions for companies and employees.