The post-2013 reform of EU cohesion policy and the place-based narrative

Cite as: Mendez, C. (2013) The post-2013 reform of EU cohesion policy and the place-based narrative.Journal of European Public Policy, 20 (5), 639-659

This article examines the role and use of discourse as a means of affecting EU cohesion policy reform. A discursive shift is traced to a place-based narrative, which sought to re-legitimize and reconnect the policy with its foundational principles during the post-2013 policy review. It is argued that the impact of the narrative on the Commission’s proposals has been only partially effective owing to deep-rooted ideational, interest-driven and organizational resistance and tensions relating to the policy’s objectives, governance and relationship with Europe 2020. Implications are drawn for ideational analysis in the EU.

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