Between the new European Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 and the Lisbon Process there seems to be a conflict as far as the objectives and the policy instruments are concerned. The former seems to imply the adoption of territorial dispersion and redistribution criteria, the latter should follow both sectoral and territorial concentration. In addition, the problem of finding a right balance between central planning and local initiatives comes to the fore with new strength now that a cycle of strong decentralisation policy is under evaluation. Finally, a correct balance has to be found between the role of the Government and the role of the private sector in shaping the evolution of the productive structure of the economy. The paper looks for a tentative answer to all these problems, starting from a discussion of the definitions themselves of competitiveness and cohesion and bringing into play the concepts of “filiera produttiva”, regional complementarity and interactive governance as a way of multilevel and multisubject coordination. A number of practical suggestions are made in order to attain a better path and a better planning framework capable of integrating regional and national strategic plans.