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Coronavirus situation at the University of Eastern Finland

Containers in a ship

Extensive study into interregional movement of people, capital, goods and services in Europe

  • Technology and innovations

The Karelian Institute at the University of Eastern Finland is participating in a two-year ESPON research project entitled Interregional Relations in Europe (IRiE). This project focuses on interregional movements and flows of people, capital, goods and services in Europe. It identifies policies that can facilitate and strengthen these movements and flows, and also pays attention to the influences of exceptional processes such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.

The European Union has become economically and structurally diverse after its several enlargement rounds. Economic integration and Europe’s diminished borders have increased the movement of people, goods, services and capital. Increasingly, different regions rather than states depict Europe today. However, research and documentation of interregional economic relations and connections is challenging.

The project is funded by the ESPON 2020 Territorial Observatory Network programme ( that aims at fostering the knowledge base of regional planning and development policies and supporting cooperation between the EU countries in these fields.

The scope of the project includes all EU countries, as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. A broad statistical data collection and analysis of the movements and flows of people, capital, goods and services will be implemented in the regions of the participating countries. Results will be formulated into policy recommendations and suggestions to the European Commission in order to support the regional strategies of smart specialisation.

For further information, please contact:

Research Director, Petri Kahila, phone +358 50 411 8445, petri.kahila (at)

ESPON 2020 programme: