For many years European Union has been putting more and more effort toward boosting innovation and becoming the most competitive global economy. The aim of the article is to explore the concept of the global value chain of clusters and the role clusters might play in enhancing the EU competitiveness. The authors develop the concept of integration between clusters and present the examples of clusters cooperation within the global value chain (GVC), both in terms of horizontal and vertical integration. Cooperation of clusters within the global value chains gets more and more intense with the processes of globalisation and, paradoxically, is boosting the signifi cance of regions. Regions with strong cluster structures are becoming platforms for creating knowledge and innovation and enhancing cooperation on the regional, national and even global scale. The idea of cluster cooperation networks in the EU is developed in light of smart specialisation strategy: a tool for enhancing regional innovationbased growth, facilitating the role played by the SME sector and aimed to reduce imbalances in development, both spatial and social. Well-defi ned and well-managed clusters, operating in line with the economic specialisations of regions, provide opportunities to strengthen the competitive position of local and regional companies and enhance the innovation and technology transfer within the GVC.
Key words: Clusters, Global Value Chain, Internationalisation, Smart Specialisation