The article concerns the future of EU cohesion policy and changes in its management rules as foreseen by the European Commission. So far, new ideas have been presented in documents such as the 5th Cohesion Report, the Budget Review and the Proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU 2014-2020. This article aims to present the proposals for improvement to the design and the implementation of the policy, and focuses on the main issues of the ongoing debate. There are many reasons to assume that EU cohesion policy has entered into a new stage of development, as its future outlook will depend much on the intensity of the current economic crisis, financial difficulties of Member States, the ruling atmosphere of Euro-scepticism and the lack of European solidarity. For supporters of a strong EU cohesion policy it is a difficult challenge to demonstrate the positive effects of the policy for all European regions as it is to introduce the necessary reforms to make it even more effective and modern.
The subject of this study was to identify and analyze the methodology of building the tools of implementation of cohesion policy in social, economic and spatial dimensions within the structures of the European Union (EU). The experiences of the European Union showed a widespread use of planning methods and techniques in various methodological and institutional forms and the use of perspective thinking in pro-development decision-making process. Apart from the system of socialist countries the planning solution identified in the European Union’s structural policy can be considered the most formalised among the ones implemented in the world. The requirement for joint decision making, implementation of the treaty provisions and the desire to achieve the objectives determined in the strategy documents caused the use of multidimensional organizational solution which gives the opportunity to achieve the intended indicators of output, results, and the effect.
The article investigates the political and juridical evolution of the EU and shows how cohesion policy (or regional policy) of the European Union encouraging economic growth in EU member states and their regions. The cohesion policy of the EU has the overall goal of promoting economic prosperity and social cohesion throughout the entire territory of the Union, which means the 27 member states and their 271 regions. The three main objectives of the EU’s cohesion policy are: Convergence, Regional Competitiveness and Employment, and European Territorial Cooperation. The long-running debate on the future of cohesion policy is intensifying ahead of the forthcoming negotiations on the post-2013 EU budget. Secondly, significant disparities between EU regions still exist and have even increased in the aftermath of the most recent waves of enlargement. The geographical distribution of GDP underlines these differences, characterised by significant gaps between the Union’s Western and Central and East European Member States. In this context, the current debate is now focusing on very sensitive questions such as: who gets how much? is the European dimension of each EU policy justified? and what principles should it be governed by (equity, efficiency, political, visibility)?
The text below is in no way claim to an exhaustive description of regional identity. This is rather an attempt to reflection on the elements constituting the regional identity, as well as the possibility of changes within it. The author wishes to consider the dimensions of regional identity. Synthesizing could include the following: the dimension of psychological, sociological, geographical, ethno-graphical, historical, economic, urban and architectural design. Turbulent changes in the environment cause the changing human attitudes towards the region, regional identity. Regional identity in spite of its stability and repeatability, changing both the form and meaning. It is worth noting that regional identity is an extremely complex concept and direction of change can be difficult to predict and plan.
The Article examines the concept of territorial cohesion in EU countries seen from Nordic perspective. Long experience of the Nordic countries in the process of building cohesive economies and competitive knowledge-based societies, gives grounds to consider Nordic solutions in terms of so called “best practice”. According to this, the cohesion of EU societies and economies should be constructed by actions such as: developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation (smart growth), promoting efficient and competitive economy (sustainable growth), fostering a high-employment economy (inclusive growth) and promoting city networks parallel to the network of the European Pentagon. The proposed solutions should be adopted in a way including specific features of each country and region, which make the cohesion process a complex and multidimensional phenomenon.
This paper studies the European Cohesion Policy Programmes in the New EU Member States. We find that the allocation of the EU funds among different uses is very uneven among the EU NMS. To some extent this is the consequence of the “capping rule” that has imposed limits on the annual transfers to the NMS and has distorted the allocation of the EU funds towards the key priority which became development and transport infrastructure, in particular. The politically motivated shift proposed by the European Commission in the Cohesion Policy to spend away from transport infrastructure and towards innovation and human capital development, in accordance with the goals of the strategy Europe 2020 approved in March 2010 that will definitely benefit the old EU-15, may become an obstacle to the development of the NMS in the long run.
European cohesion policy implemented in EU member states from Central-Eastern Europe during the EU financial perspective for 2007-2013 has been focused on the convergence, aimed to speeding up the elimination of disparities in the development of the least developed Member States and regions. The main objective of the analysis carried out in the article is a preliminary assessment of its effectiveness. The analysis was performed with the main macroeconomic parameters directly related to the objectives of cohesion policy, such as financial allocation for the implementation of cohesion policy and the level and changes in GDP per capita. Preliminary results indicate a progressive convergence, which, however, was slightly “stopped” during the economic crisis.