ORCID: Tomasz Olejarz: 0000-0003-3805-4461
ORCID: Tomasz Stępniewski: 0000-0002-4581-5145
Edition: Lublin 2011
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)?