ERSA is the supranational grouping of national regional science associations across Europe. Members are academics, policy professionals and researchers interested in spatial economics and planning, regional and local development and related issues. They are drawn largely from the disciplines of economics, geography and planning. There are presently 17 active associations (commonly named ’sections’), some, such as the German or French speaking sections, organized on linguistic groupings and covering more than one country. Constituent associations range in size from more than 700 members to 27. The largest sections have their own national professional organizers. In total ERSA has some 3500 members in its constituent associations.
The main functions of ERSA, apart from promoting the field of regional science, are to organise an annual European Congress, an annual Summer School, the EPAINOS prize for young scientists and the EIB-ERSA prize to recognise outstanding regional scientists.
ERSA events have been growing in size and professionalism over the past 10 years. Attendance at Congresses has grown consistently over time and more than 1000 delegates participated in the Congress held in Jönköping 2010. The Summer Schools are presently supported by the European Commission’s Marie Curie program.
ERSA is managed by the President and the Council (ERSAC). The European Organizing Committee (EOC) is there to assist them in dealing with the affairs of ERSA. In 2007, the decision to professionalize ERSA was taken and the ERSA Office was established in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium within the UCL (Université catholique de Louvain). Thus allowing to implement and coordinate all ERSA activities.