The ESDP relevance to a distant partner: Greece
Greece is an untypical case from a territorial planning perspective at a European level as it faces constraints and limitations arising by its peripheral position and the limited accessibility to major economic agglomerations and markets. The opportunities of benefiting from a European spatial development strategy are further reduced by missing neighbours, external and internal asymmetries. From the Greek point of view, European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) can be evaluated in terms of three different axes of reflection: improving linkages and spatial relationships to neighbouring countries (particularly European Union member states); bringing national level issues to the European agenda of spatial planning policies; bringing to the national level of spatial planning European-wide relevant issues. In this view ESDP does not reflect the particularities of spatial development in Greece (lack of territorial cohesion, fragmented national geographic space, etc.) but had indirect beneficial effects on the Greek planning system at a national level in spreading institutional innovation, good practices, etc. However, the influence which the ESDP is likely to have on spatial organization and development remains in doubt.