Title: EU cohesion policy: the debate on Structural Funds

Authors: John Bradley

Addresses: Economic Modelling and Development Strategies (EMDS), 14 Bloomfield Avenue, Dublin 8, Ireland

Abstract: After 15 years of EU cohesion policy, implemented through National Development Plans (NDPs) and Structural Funds (SFs), economists remain divided on interpretations of policy effectiveness. As new member states prepare for the next programme of EU cohesion aid, it is important to review this debate. Two contrasting empirical approaches are distinguished: |testing| and |impact quantification|. We examine views of participants in the debate, and the methodologies and tools of economic analysis that are commonly used to support different conclusions. Having surveyed current methodologies, we conclude that none of them are likely to provide a decisive resolution to the debate.

Keywords: EU cohesion policy; lagging EU states; catch-up; convergence; structural funds; national development plans; NDPs; policy analysis; macro models; European Union; European integration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2008.019069

International Journal of Public Policy, 2008 Vol.3 No.3/4, pp.246 - 260

Available online: 28 Jun 2008 *

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