The ITN RegPol² - Socio-economic and Political Responses to Regional Polarisation in Central and Eastern Europe centers on new patterns of regional disparities between metropolised core regions and the remaining parts of Central and Eastern European countries (CEE). Such spatial patterns have become a striking feature of the current settlement system of these countries and have lately fuelled concerns about further polarisation and the peripheralisation of non-metropolitan regions. Patterns of regional polarisation, however, do not remain restricted to CEE, but can be found throughout the European Union, albeit at different degrees. As such, there is an EU-wide high demand for professionals able to deal with the spatial implications of these issues. This holds true all the more so as balancing spatial development has been a major goal of European Regional Policy. Against this background, RegPol² trains 16 young researchers for careers in academia, public administration, NGOs and the private sector. Research training is organised in 3 work packages which comprise individual, albeit strongly interconnected research projects. Each project includes intersectoral secondments providing trainees with occupational skills while at the same time strengthening the interface between academia and the private sector. Local trainings will be supplemented by network-wide events enabling strong collaboration between the partners. Training includes transferable skills as well as theoretical and methodological units. The network draws on expertise from academia and private sector specialists from 7 different countries and 8 scientific disciplines used to working in interdisciplinary and multi-national contexts. Next to new training capacities at European level and an increased employability of ITN fellows, the project aims at improving regional policy instruments by raising capacities of politicians, public and private sector policy makers related to issues of regional polarisation.
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