May 9 is the European Day, an occasion to look back on how Europe has helped territorial marketing to develop:
1) Supporting projects by providing tools, financial support and facilities, EU institutions has facilitated transnational cooperation and regional development. “Europe” is not just a word anymore; it unearths tangible outcomes such as places, rules, budgets, for people to work together. As a consequence, many territorial co-operation projects are deploying all over the continent. INTERREG program has contributed to initiate cooperation and cohesion between the different territories. For instance, in order to make Atlantic Arc cities develop jointly a territorial marketing plan, ATBrand project is fulfilling this programme’s objectives.
2) Within the institutions, countries collaborate on different topics and make common decisions based on the idea that cooperation is the keystone for better performance and competitiveness on a global scale as well as countries awareness and financial improvement. Hence, all over the years, European culture has grown in the mind of citizens. As cooperation is paramount to face challenges, territories have started to associate for various issues including territorial marketing. The increasing number of initiatives in this way, as the CAAC for instance, shows the will for territorial marketing collaboration.
3) EU integration has led to a high mobility, and thus cities want to promote themselves to retain or attract citizens, companies and tourists. So “coopetion” gains the stage: cities compete between themselves and at the same time, as they have similarities and working jointly is often more efficient, they cooperate to develop a regional marketing strategy. Overall, this pushes territorial marketing and place branding to develop.
From the start, one of the main EU missions has been to enhance territory as a core asset for the community.