The journal Europa XXI made its appearance as a serial publication in the second half of the 1990s (1998). This was a period in which the Central and Eastern European Countries were still going through their systemic transformations, while negotiations regarding EU membership were in progress. Our publication was therefore founded to ensure that scientific specialists from the CEECs made their full, proper contribution to the debate over the integration process, of course in its spatial dimension first and foremost. The wording of the title Europa XXI sought to express European aspirations, and to reflect the rapid approach of a new century. Specifically, it was to denote a making-ready of European space for the problems to be faced in the decades to come.
The publication’s founder was Prof. Marcin Rościszewski (1929-2002), an active member of the Polish European Movement Council and Head of the Centre for European studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Geography and Spatial Organisation (IGSO PAS). He was aware that, in the aftermath of the then-fast-approaching enlargement, European space and the cities and regions it comprises would be faced with a host of new challenges. Tackling these was felt to require strong research foundations, as well as cooperation between specialists from different disciplines, and different parts of our continent. Particular emphasis was placed on cooperation in practice, as opposed to just theory, with facilitation of the proper dissemination of research results where they matter in particular – in bodies where public policy is actually made. It was with that kind of thinking in mind that the first Editorial Committee included people then heading such state-administration and public-sector institutions as the Office of Studies and Analyses of Poland’s Lower House of Parliament – the Sejm (Jacek Głowacki), and the Warsaw Stock Exchange (Piotr Szeliga). The journal’s founders were also keen to maintain a basis for scientific cooperation with Eastern European neighbour countries that have remained outside the EU. From the very outset through to today, many authors publishing here hail from Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Belarus.
The emergence of Europa XXI was also favoured by the continued nurturing of scientific contacts forged earlier between IGSO PAS and its counterparts in the CEECs, notably in Hungary (the Centre for Regional Studies HAS) and Slovakia (the Institute of Geography SAS). These made possible a great deal of joint work in the early part of the transformation period – as regards regional studies, economic geography and the spatial economy. Furthermore, since 2004 (the year of EU accession), EUROPA XXI has been associated with a conference held every two years known as the Warsaw Regional Forum. Keynote Speakers and presenters of the best papers there are invited to contribute articles. At the same time, the years since 2004 have seen scientific institutions in the CEECs play an ever-more active part in the Europe-wide debate on territorial issues. They have, for example, participated in a series of programmes and projects within the framework of ESPON (the European Spatial Planning Observation Network) – with Europa XXI becoming a place of publication for results gained in this context (no. 23 being devoted to ESPON SeGI, 24 to ESPON TRACC, 25 to ESPON DeTeC, and most recently 35 to ESPON COMPASS). The consequence has been for our journal to assume a Europe-wide dimension, which has found its reflection in both subject matter and the membership of the Editorial Committee.
Following Marcin Rościszewski’s death, it was Maciej Jakubowski who took on the tasks of Editor (in the 2002-2007 period). From that time on, those functions have been being discharged by Tomasz Komornicki. Editorial Secretaries have been (in order) Ewa Korcelli-Olejniczak, Konrad Czapiewski, Piotr Siłka and Barbara Szejgiec-Kolenda. In addition, since 2013, close cooperation has been in place with Prof. Giancarlo Cotella of Politecnico di Torino. While some editions of the journal were at the outset in Polish, English has been the sole language of publication since 2005.
Now in existence for over 20 years, Europa XXI can reasonably be considered to have made successive, consistent contributions to the dissemination of key results on:
- spatial processes ongoing as a consequence of the CEECs’ economic transformation;
- transboundary cooperation across the internal and external frontiers of the EU;
- (post-2004) socioeconomic integration as it has concerned the new EU Member States;
- regional policy and spatial planning in Europe;
- European regions, cities and towns in 'the space of flows';
- the effects of the development of transport infrastructure in Europe;
- instruments acting to support development and supply public services in peripheral areas;
- theoretical and methodological foundations of Europe’s territorial cohesion;
- Cohesion Policy foundations and pan-European spatial analyses;
- the foundations of spatial policy in regard to maritime areas.
Moreover, these topics have gained analysis from the viewpoints of many and varied scientific disciplines (be these socioeconomic geography, spatial planning, the political sciences, economics, sociology or environmental protection), as well as on different spatial scales (from the global, down through the European, national, regional, local and even topographical). In the view of Europa XXI’s editorial team, it is precisely this interdisciplinary and multi-level approach that has ensured the particular added value of the research presented, and hence the journal in general. An ideal basis is here provided for the transfer of acquired knowledge in the direction of decision-makers at various levels, and hence for the genuine integration of territorial policy.