PERCEIVE project - Deliverable D7.5 “Policy Brief (1): Guidelines on Cohesion Policies Implementation”

Aiello, Valentina ; Brasili, Cristina ; Calia, Pinuccia Pasqualina ; Marino, Alba (2019) PERCEIVE project - Deliverable D7.5 “Policy Brief (1): Guidelines on Cohesion Policies Implementation”. p. 11. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsacta/6197.
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Since its introduction, Cohesion Policy has been the primary tool for the reduction of economic, social and territorial disparities across regions of Europe and the key redistributive mechanism in support to the less developed areas. Despite the statistical indicators register a trend towards European convergence, disparities of many different kinds between regions remain wide (European Commission, 2014) and the EU enlargement reinforced the regional territorial imbalances (Bartkowska and Riedl, 2012). The effects of the Cohesion Policy on the convergence processes have been thoroughly investigated (Islam, 2003; Farole et al., 2011) and policy evaluations hold mixed results about the magnitude of its impact with great heterogeneity depending on the country – or the regions – of implementation (Rodríguez-Pose and Fratesi, 2004; Cuadrado-Roura, 2010). Notably, there is increasing agreement on the fact that domestic factors profoundly influence the way the Cohesion Policy is shaped and the effectiveness and impact of its funding. Weaknesses in terms of social and economic development, territorial capital, political stability, quality of institutions and government, administrative capacity, and national legislative framework might have limited the effectiveness of the Cohesion Policy (Surubaru, 2017; Milio, 2007, 2014; Rodríguez-Pose & Garcilazo, 2015; Fratesi and Perucca, 2018). The Cohesion Policy represented one-third of the EU budget for the 2007-2013 programming period and its delivery system implies an architectural design that is multilevel in nature. Multilevel governance has been a central cornerstone of the European regional policy since the 1990s and, despite the lack of agreement on a common definition, the concept is generally understood as «the participation of a range of different types of actors (public, private and societal) in policy-making and implementation through formal and informal means» (European Parliament, 2014). In this framework, the regional and local authorities have been recognised a growing role in planning and implementing the policy, thus favouring a citizens’ perception of Europe that is local-driven. In other words, when individuals think of Europe, they usually do it from a local point of view and they are influenced by the direct observation of Cohesion projects in their territories (PERCEIVE, Deliverable 2.2). That is to say, the European integration outcomes also increasingly depend on how national, regional and local governments manage and implement the policies. Therefore, a rich strain of literature has recently started to investigate whether the intensity and the efficient implementation of the Cohesion Policy can contribute to improve citizens’ support and stimulate positive attitudes towards the EU (Dellmut and Chalmers, 2018). Although the extant literature is not conclusive, and any causal implication should be avoided, the empirical evidence seems to point toward some significant positive relation characterized by a “learning effect” (Dall’Erba and Fang, 2017). Nevertheless, the effect may vary conditional on specific regional characteristics, the amount of EU funds allocated and the distribution of the socio-economic groups. All in all, we believe that the efficient use of the Structural Funds allocated to a region can indeed favour a more positive perception of the EU both directly and through its positive effect on economic growth. Overall, this framework suggests the adoption of a European strategic approach to regional development which builds upon the differentiated territorial characteristics in a multidimensional perspective. In the end, the strategic approach should translate in a tailored policy-mix based on integrated programmes – in terms of funds, objectives and governance level – to help maintain the sustainability of the policy action through long-term development.

Document type
Monograph (Technical Report)
Aiello, ValentinaUniversity of Bologna0000-0001-5764-4841
Brasili, CristinaUniversity of Bologna0000-0003-2529-0158
Calia, Pinuccia PasqualinaUniversity of Bologna0000-0002-6638-4081
Marino, AlbaUniversity of Bologna0000-0003-3932-8102
Cohesion Policy; Perceive Project; Implementation
Deposit date
12 Jul 2019 09:10
Last modified
17 Jul 2019 10:27
Project name
PERCEIVE - Perception and Evaluation of Regional and Cohesion policies by Europeans and Identification with the Values of Europe
Funding program
EC - H2020

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