Territorial Cohesion and Its Impact on the Structural Policy of the European Union
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Publication date: 2009-04-30
GNPJE 2009;231(4):91-110
Expenditure on structural policy is the second largest item in the European Union’s budget. Structural funds and the cohesion fund are intended for the bloc’s poorest countries and regions, and their aim is to increase the cohesion of the entire community. Under the EU reform treaty, the traditional model of economic and social cohesion would be expanded to include a third dimension—territorial cohesion. The authors analyze the implications of the introduction of territorial cohesion to European structural policy. They evaluate EU program documents and research in this area. Szlachta and Zaleski set out to explain why the territorial dimension of European structural policy is important to Poland and why European cohesion policy should be modified after 2013. The paper describes the theoretical foundations of European structural policy, paying special attention to the role of regional factors for community-level intervention and the course of convergence processes. Against this background, the authors describe the EU’s regional policy and its territorial dimension over the past 20 years. The paper also discusses the most important conclusions from a public debate on territorial issues in Europe, and mentions issues such as the EU Green Paper on territorial cohesion and its importance for reforming the EU’s structural policy after 2013.
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