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Implementing innovation: Smarter & greener actions

R&I plays an important role in mitigating the impact of ‘crisis’ situations, contributing to economic growth, and delivering green and digital transitions. Cohesion Policy, especially the Smart Specialisation approach, provides a key instrument for delivering place-based innovation that reflects the strengths and assets of the regions, and addressing the innovation divide in Europe.


CLLD in the 2014–2020 EU Programming Period: An Innovative Framework for Local Development

This paper presents an overview of how the Community-led Local Development (CLLD) instrument has been used in the EU in the 2014–2020 programming period. It provides a typology of countries applying the options offered by CLLD and illustrates the various ways in which the different eligible EU funds were contributing financially. The article discusses the…


Reconciling crisis response and long-term objectives: Dealing with multiple pressures in Cohesion Policy programmes

In the challenging context created by the ongoing effects of the pandemic combined with the growing pressures of the energy and refugee crises, programme managers are navigating through multiple and often overlapping priorities. Ensuring good implementation and progress towards finalising the 2014-20 programmes, as well as preparing their orderly closure are among the key tasks…


The impact of EU Cohesion Policy on European identity: A comparative analysis of EU regions

This article investigates the role of European Union Cohesion Policy in the development of European identity, drawing on an original and representative survey in 17 regions across 12 member states. We advance a theoretical model which distinguishes cognitive, instrumental and communicative drivers of identity formation. Contrary to existing scholarship, we find that EU Cohesion Policy…


The Role of Contact Points in the Implementation of Interreg Programmes

Helping to inform the set up of the 2021-27 Interreg programmes, a new EPRC report for Interact provides a comprehensive balanced overview of the different approaches to setting up and employing Contact Points in Interreg programmes. The report highlights the different way that Programmes can use contact points in their management and implementation systems and…


Embedding the Urban Dimension in Cohesion Policy

  • elenajabri
  • Martin Ferry & Stefan Kah

Urban issues have gained increasing prominence over Cohesion Policy programming periods in terms of policy relevance and visibility. The objective of the paper is to take stock of experiences gained in 2014-20 and plans for the 2021-27 period. It focuses on the territorial coverage, thematic orientation and governance of the urban dimension of Cohesion Policy,…


Continuity & Change: Balancing between two programme periods

  • elenajabri
  • Liliana Fonseca & Rona Michie

The beginning of a new year has not meant respite from challenges. ESIF programme managers continue to juggle responsibilities across two programme periods. The tail-end of the 2014-20 programme period remains busy, particularly in terms of monitoring and processing expenditure claims, making payments to beneficiaries and closure arrangements. This workload is now exacerbated by many…


Building a sustainable and resilient tourism economy: the role of regional policy

  • jayneogilvie
  • Dozhdeva, V
  • EoRPA

Tourism has been one of the largest and fastest growth sectors in recent decades, making a significant contribution to GDP and employment across European countries and globally. Tourism has a marked territorial dimension through its uneven spatial distribution and diverse impact on the dynamics of regional development and convergence. In this context, regional policy has…


From Crisis to Crisis: The Next Generation of Regional Aid Policy

Over the course of the last year or so all EU Member States, Norway, Iceland and the UK have designed new regional aid maps and secured their approval under the 2022- 27 Regional Aid Guidelines (RAG). The adoption of the RAG and map approvals have taken place in a period of almost unprecedented upheaval, including…


Towards a Green and Digital Transition: The New Cohesion Policy Strategies and Reform Debate

In the context of crises that have stretched policymaking and budgetary resources of the EU to their limit, the focus of the past year has been on recovery from the effects of the pandemic, and future resilience – an objective dramatically increased in importance by the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war. As a major part…