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As European countries pursue a common effort towards establishing a European Union, various isolated -and consequently disadvantaged -regions are likely to face increasing competitive pressures due to their peripheral location. To assist such areas, regional, national and supranational bodies put much effort into developing transport and communication networks and linkages in order to ensure that such less favoured areas are better integrated in the broader European social and economic development process. This book addresses the issue of lagging development in various -mainly central and southern - European regions which are in a disadvantageous position as a result of their isolated 10cation.··The persisting problems of social and economic development in several European Union areas (e.g. islands, mountains, border areas) has turned the attention of policy-makers to "the critical importance of transport and (tele)communication linkages. The purpose of the book is to bring into perspective the role of transport and communications in regional policy for peripheral areas. This subject is currently of high priority, since the European Union through the Structural Funds interventions (i.e. the Community Support Frameworks) and the new Cohesion Fund relies heavily on transport and communication infrastructure investments to assist areas which are at a disadvantage due to their peripheral location and isolation. Furthermore, as the Union considers enlargement, some of these issues might be of wide European interest.



Isolation and Peripherality: The Role of Networks, Borders and Barriers


1. Borders and Barriers in the New Europe: Impediments and Potentials of New Network Configurations

Spatial-economic connectivity and changes in industrial organization have far reaching consequences for the competitive profile and position of all regions in a network economy. In particular, geographically isolated regions have expressed a concern that they may find themselves positioned outside current mainstream industrial developments. The industrial-economic systems of our world are indeed rapidly changing, at all geographical levels. The traditional large scale production plant is gradually losing its relevance. In a post-fordist economy we observe much more emphasis on flexible entrepreneurial behaviour based on lean production. Modern industrial production is characterized by both specialization and globalization, in which the modern component industry and industrial assembly play an important role (see Lagendijk 1993). An example may clarify the above point. The Swedish Volvo company is producing its Volvo 480 in the Netherlands. The components of this car originate from different countries: 28% from Germany, 26% from France, 22% from Belgium, 12% from the Netherlands and 12% from remaining countries (e.g. Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the UK, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, the USA, Canada, Brazil and Australia).
P. Nijkamp

2. Some Notes on Interconnectivity in Transport Networks

Peripherality and isolation of a region (or a country) have often been analyzed from the viewpoint of physical distance to the geographical centre of a country (or a continent). Much less attention has been given to the qualitative aspects of connectivity between peripheral areas and the entire country. This means essentially that the issue of interconnectivity — in a broad sense the potential access to all relevant nodes in a network — is much more complicated than just the notion of physical distance friction: the quality and structure of an entire network is at stake here, so that one has to investigate the features of both nodes and their connecting links.
P. Rietveld

3. Accessibility and Peripheral Regions

The problem of peripherally is essentially one of accessibility. However, accessibility is not a simple concept, changes in accessibility can be made in many different ways and this needs to be understood if changes in the accessibility of a peripheral region are to have any impact on its economy and development potential. Furthermore, simple improvement of accessibility, however defined, gives no guarantee of improved performance. It can open up the local economy to increased competition. At least it is likely to require other policy initiatives to capitalize on any improvements in accessibility.
R. Vickerman

4. Innovative Growth and Peripherality in the New European Territory

The process of European integration after the creation of the Single Market and the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty for the political and economic Union of the twelve by 1999, remains a source of extreme geopolitical confusion. The plans for enlargement include as a first step the accession of the formerly EFTA countries, Austria, Norway, Sweden and Finland, while the formerly planned economies such as the new Czech and Slovak republics, Poland and Hungary, are also serious candidates for accession to membership within foreseeable time horizons. Furthermore, the Baltic countries (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania), the Balkan countries (Albania, Rumania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav republics) and the Mediterranean countries (Malta, Cyprus, Turkey) are of major importance to the Community. This situation is reflected in the granting of special agreements and the provision of assistance under various schemes, though there is no common policy for the status of all the above countries in relation to the European Union. All these developments have greatly changed the debate and the prospects concerning the pace of the unification process, the expansion of geographical boundaries and the institutional deepening of the European Union (Holmes 1992; Mitsos 1993).
G. Kafkalas

5. Barriers in Network Performance in Border Areas

In the last two decades a great diversity of scientific and technological developments have taken place which have had a considerable impact upon the dynamics of the world economy. The patterns of competition have been dramatically altered, while the internationalization of competition has forced countries to participate in broader economic entities in order to strengthen their position in the emerging new economic order.
M. Giaoutzi, A. Stratigea

6. How to Overcome Barriers and Border Effects: Theoretical Elements

On the recent issue of European integration two main topics are usually discussed: ‘Europe without frontiers’ and ‘Europe of regions.
R. Ratti

7. International Migration in Europe: Overcoming Isolation and Distance Friction

In discussing the theme of ‘overcoming isolation’ we are usually inclined to look at physical barriers preventing spatial interaction. Missing links in networks, infrastructure bottlenecks or geographical peripherality are the obvious examples of impediments to free movement in space. In such a context, interregional or international trade flows, commuting, congestion, accessibility and network performance are normally discussed. Far less attention has been given in Europe to the issue of international migration, either labour migration or forced migration as a result of geo-political developments in Southern, Central and East-Europe. In recent years we witness a concern on massive migration flows into the West-European space, a phenomenon which reflects the fact that Europe is still socially fragmented and only politically more open (see Nijkamp and Spiess 1993). Therefore, it makes sense in a publication on overcoming isolation to pay explicit attention to facts and backgrounds of international migration in Europe. The completion of the internal market by 1993 provoked much debate on the consequences of a free mobility of goods, people and information in the EC countries. Also the expected migration waves from former communist countries in Central and East Europe created an intensified concern on the EC as a magnet for international migrants (cf. Ghosh 1991). And finally, the increasingly important phenomenon of illegal migrants in Europe led to doomsday scenarios of the U.S. — Mexico border type. It seems as though Europe is now entering the ‘age of migration’ (see Castles and Miller 1993).
P. Nijkamp, K. Spiess

8. Barriers and Bridges in Technology Transfer: Perspectives for Border Regions

In the past several years it has increasingly been acknowledged that technological knowhow is a major asset in the competitive power of a nation and its regions. Accordingly, the quality of the knowledge infrastructure has increased in significance in the general locational profile of regions.
M. van Geenhuizen

Empirical Studies on Information and Transport Networks in Europe


9. Access to Telecommunication Networks: Regional Variations in Consumption Network Externalities

In recent years much attention has been devoted to the diffusion and adoption processes of new information and communication technologies (ICTs). The interest in these technologies is originating from the importance they have assumed in the process of defining competitive advantages among firms and comparative advantage among regions. It is in fact a common idea among economists and policy makers that the diffusion of these technologies are of strategic importance for the economic development of less favoured regions. For this reason in 1987 the EC launched a five year programme, called the STAR Programme, for the implementation and diffusion of these technologies in Objective 1 regions of the Community.
R. Capello, P. Nijkamp

10. Connectivity and Congestion on European Road Corridors

Europe is increasingly moving towards a network economy, in which physical flows of people and goods form the connecting elements. This means that European corridors — especially those between major metropolitan areas or centres of economic activity in Europe — are playing a critical role in the new, evolving map of Europe. At the same time it has to be recognized that traffic congestion on many European transport corridors is dramatically increasing, while also the environmental implications and the poor safety conditions cause unacceptable social costs. Conventional transport policy is apparently unable to keep up with Europe’s growing demand for mobility. New transport technologies are hence increasingly regarded as necessary instruments for ensuring sustainable mobility.
A. Reggiani, P. Nijkamp, G. Pepping

11. Bottlenecks In Trans Alpine Freight Transport: A Multicriteria Analysis on Future Brenner Corridor Alternatives

Isolation refers to the limited accessibility of certain areas. Physical or other bottlenecks may act as barriers in the communication and transport systems connecting such areas. The Alpine region is a clear example of this phenomenon. Because of its natural conditions, the Alpine region offers only limited options and limited capacity to the transport sector. The geographic location of the mountain range in the middle of Europe separating important economic regions leads to the necessity for commodity flows through only a few corridors in this area. With the rapid increase of freight traffic during the last two decades, it has been difficult to find a satisfactory solution for both overcoming this bottleneck in the European transport network and guaranteeing the Alpine population an acceptable quality of life. Therefore, the problems of this part of the European transport network seem to be one of the most challenging ones to be solved.
P. Freudensprung, P. Nijkamp, R.-J. Simons

12. Trade Effects of the Emerging Market Economies: A Study of the Transport Potential of the Rhine-Main-Danube Waterway

During the last few years, the economic landscape of Europe has changed dramatically, both in the East and in the West. In Eastern Europe, the peaceful revolutions — except Yugoslavia — are among the most dramatic events of the current epoch. A central element of the revolutions in most of these countries is a total reversal of economic policy and the transition from a centrally planned to a market-based economy. In Western Europe the process of economic integration within the EU has been and will be intensified with the implementation of the Economic and Monetary Union in 1993 and integrating the EFTA countries as most of them are likely to become EU-members in 1995. Certainly, both events will have far-reaching impacts on trade patterns and transport systems in Europe.
M. Fischer, C. Rammer

13. Prospects for the Conventional Passenger/Car Ferry in the Aegean

A major category of ships operating in the Greek shortsea shipping system today is the fleet of conventional ferries for the transport of passengers, private cars, buses, motorcycles and freight-carrying trucks. These ships operate on a network of routes set up and approved by the Ministry of Merchant Marine. They have virtually displaced the traditional passenger-only coastal ships that provided service to the islands in the 50’s and 60’s. The latter ships still exist, but their numbers are steadily declining. Having lost a significant share of their market to ferries on long-haul routes, these ships seem to be losing the battle on shorter routes too (their main theater of operation today), this time to high-speed vessels, such as hydrofoils, catamarans, surface effect ships, etc.
H. N. Psaraftis

14. Connectivity and Isolation in Transport Networks: A Policy Scenario Experiment for the Greek Island Economy

In the past decade the spatial-industrial organization of modern economies tends increasingly towards a multi-actor and multi-modal network configuration, in which free access and competition are becoming dominant features (Cuadrado- Roura et al. 1994; Nijkamp 1994; Porter 1989). In recent policy documents of the European Union it is taken for granted that the development of the European continent is shaped through a complex interplay of a networked physical space (composed of an open multi-regional system) and a multi-layer socio-economic structure (featuring open access and free competition), witness also the plans for the T.E.N. (Trans-European Networks) system. The drive towards a network economy — as a catalyst for accelerated economic growth — has been favoured by drastic changes in telecommunication and information technology (Capello 1994), including the use of advanced logistics and electronic data transmission.
R. Zwier, P. Nijkamp, F. Hiemstra, K. van Montfort

15. Transport Networks and Insular Isolation

Measuring Spatial Inequality
Insular regions, whether they are large islands or complexes of small islands, being strictly bounded regions have geographical characteristics that differentiate them from mainland regions: land discontinuity, distance from the mainland and sparse location at sea. These characteristics constitute factors of spatial inequality, which increases in relation to the insular problems.
S. Kostopoulou

16. Overcoming Isolation and the Role of Transport: The Case of the Aegean Islands

There are a large number of areas within the Community and the various other European countries, that suffer from poor accessibility with regard to central locations. This condition is invariably related to poor economic performance in the same regions, depopulation, etc. A term which has come to be used synonymously with all these conditions is ‘peripheral’ regions (or even countries). The notion of ‘peripherality’ is directly related to being on the ‘periphery’ with regard to a central area or centre, i.e. on the outskirts or circumference (as indeed in the original meaning of the Greek word ‘peripheria’ — periphery). In the context of regional development issues, periphery and peripheral have come to be today, almost synonymous with depressed, disadvantaged, weak.
G. A. Giannopoulos, G. Boulougaris


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