The paper deals with the changes that occurred in the XXI century in the political, economic and demographic conditions in the advanced countries, with particular reference to Europe, and that influenced economic geography and urban and regional disparities. After sketching those changes, the paper tries to state their influence on the location of economic activities. Then it describes the transformation of the European economic geography in the XXI century, following the enlargement of the EU and the economic crisis. Main findings are that while disparities among nations decreased, disparities within the Member States increased; there is a growing polarization between more and less advanced regions and between cities and rural areas. Regional development policies are, therefore, needed to avoid further divides.
Keywords: Europe; Regions; Disparit.