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The White Paper on European Governance: Implications for urban policy

Atkinson, Rob



This paper discusses the recent European Commission White Paper on European Governance, arguing that the document offers interesting possibilities for the future development of the European Union (EU), how it is governed and more particularly for 'European Urban Policy'. However, the paper argues there are problems with its use of the term governance as a strategy for reform and with a number of its proposals to widen access to the European Commission (EC) and the policy process. With regard to urban policy it is suggested that the White Paper's emphasis on a greater role for sub-national government and citizens' is to be welcomed. Although once again it is unclear whether the Commission has fully thought through the implications of its proposals both for itself and the groups it wishes to engage with. More specifically it is argued that the Open Method of Coordination is broadly similar to the methods whereby both current urban (and spatial) policy have been developed and should be embraced. Overall the White Paper is something of a mixed bag; however, this is to be expected of a document which is primarily intended to stimulate discussion about the future of EU governance.


Atkinson, R. (2002). The White Paper on European Governance: Implications for urban policy. European Planning Studies, 10(6), 781-792.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 7, 2002
Journal European Planning Studies
Print ISSN 0965-4313
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 6
Pages 781-792
Keywords European governance, urban policy, EU
Public URL
Publisher URL