The Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice is holding the latest in their public policy seminar series on Monday 30 October. To be discussed will be Brexit - focusing on European regional policy - with the University of Liverpool colleague, Dr Olivier Sykes. Dr Sykes is an expert in urban and regional planning and has written extensively on the subject and presented his work at events throughout Europe. A short extract from his latest paper:
"Things we lost in the fire" - remembering the past and future of European regional policy in the UK
The EU's regional policy evolved partly as a response to the distinctive needs of the UK following its accession to the European Economic Community in the 1970s and remains a key and well-regarded 'British contribution' to the present-day European Union (EU). This rarely acknowledged reality and the aftermath of the UK's EU referendum in 2016 form the backdrop to this presentation. Firstly, the position of EU regional policy within the wider 'European Project' is discussed; secondly, the material, symbolic and political impacts that it has had on Britain's regions and communities over the past four decades are reviewed; thirdly, the outcome of the UK's 2016 European Union referendum is explored from a territorial perspective; and, fourthly, the future prospects for place-based policy in Britain are considered. The presentation concludes by emphasising the pivotal role that EU regional policy has played in the UK in addressing and mitigating acute territorial development challenges, and calling for close attention to be paid over the coming years to the distributional spatial impacts of any changed UK relationship with the EU.