The project involved preparatory research and organisation of a major international conference on ‘Benchmarking Regional Policy in Europe’ in September 2001 . The meeting brought together senior regional policymakers from all ten Central and East European Candidate Countries as well as Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. The aim of the conference was to provide a forum for informal but in-depth discussion on common regional policy challenges facing European countries. The conference represented an important opportunity to exchange experience in all aspects of structural and regional policy. Research papers prepared and presented by EPRC were used to guide and open discussion, with participants encouraged to make maximum use of the confidential setting for frank and open debate. Discussions during the two main conference days covered topics such as the evolution and form of national regional policy, EU competition policy constraints and their impact on policy-making, and the experience of implementing EU structural and cohesion policies.