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Territorial governance is an extremely heterogeneous activity. Each European country is characterised by a complex system of legal acts, tools, discourses and practices that had consolidated through time, as a consequence of peculiar path-dependent processes. At the same time, since more than 30 years the European Union is developing territorially relevant actions and interventions, ultimately aiming at achieving the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the continent. The mutual relations entangling domestic and supranational territorial governance remain unclear: on the one hand, the European Union is required to produce a framework for delivering its policies that is flexible enough to accommodate domestic differences; on the other hand, domestic territorial governance and spatial planning systems should adapt in order to allow room for cross-fertilization with supranational interventions. This contribution builds on the evidence collected by the research project ESPON COMPASS to frame and explore this issue. In doing so, it serves as an introduction for this special issue that, in the following contributions, presents a number of concrete examples of interaction between EU spatial policies and domestic territorial governance and spatial planning.
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Operational Program Digital Poland, 2014-2020, Measure 2.3: Digital accessibility and usefulness of public sector information; funds from the European Regional Development Fund and national co-financing from the state budget.