Changing governance of cohesion policy

Authored by: Carolyn M. Dudek

The Routledge Handbook of European Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138927339
eBook ISBN: 9781315682723
Adobe ISBN:


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Regional economic disequilibria was viewed as both an obstacle to and result of European integration (European Commission, 1962, 1965, 1969). Cohesion policy evolved into a program to redistribute funds to less developed regions throughout Europe in order “to reduce economic, social and territorial disparities” (European Commission, 2016). With successive EU enlargements, cohesion policy became an increasingly important instrument to alleviate economic disequilibria across regions in Europe, as well as lessen the negative socio-economic impact of EU membership. The budgetary allocation of cohesion policy demonstrates the policy’s significance. For instance, the 2014–2020 cohesion program is 32.4 percent of the total EU budget or €351.8 billion (European Commission Regional Policy Info Regio, 2012). In addition to its large budgetary allocation, the policy implementation is quite complex including several levels of government: European, national, regional and local levels, as well as non-governmental actors within member states to coordinate and implement the policy.

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