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The Structural Funds as ‘Agents of Change’: New Forms of Learning and Implementation

This paper assesses whether and how Structural Funds (SF) act as an ‘agent of change’ in the policy and practice of regional and local development. What is being done through the Funds that would not otherwise be done, where and how this ‘operational innovation’ is being generated, and which aspects of the SF approach are…


Infrastructures et Aides d’Etat: expériences européennes

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2014-2020 EU Cohesion Policy: Results-orientation through better Monitoring

This article reviews the varied experiences of selected programmes across the EU with the fulfilment of the new monitoring requirements. The article is based on secondary source research and fieldwork interviews carried out in IQ-Net partner countries and regions with Managing Authorities and Intermediate Bodies, as well as an interview with the European Commission (DG…


Case studies of national bioeconomy strategies in Finland and Germany


Ideas and Options for Cohesion Policy Post-2020

With the 2013 reform of Cohesion policy only just being implemented through the 2014-20 programmes, discussion is already turning to the future of Cohesion policy after 2020. In this context, the aim of this paper is to contribute to the debate on the future of Cohesion policy after 2020, focusing on the management and implementation…


Cohesion Policy Reform and the Evolving Role of the Council

Cohesion policy-making is a complex process involving budgetary and regulatory dimensions and the interplay between different institutions at European Union (EU), national and subnational levels as well as formal and informal alliances and networks of countries, regions and interest groups. This chapter examines the chronology of the 2013 reform of Cohesion policy for the 2014_2020…


Work Package 3: Financial instruments for enterprise support

For many Member States financial instruments were a new approach to delivering Cohesion policy. Their increased use in 2007-13 created significant challenges especially for MAs with limited experience. The regulatory framework provided flexibility to accommodate domestic arrangements, but demanded considerable administrative capacity. FIs can be more sustainable than grants, generate better quality projects, and may…


The New Ambitions for 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Evaluation

One of the recurring criticisms that have been levied to EU Cohesion policy has been its inability to prove its effectiveness and value for money. These criticisms, and the parallel growing pressures to reduce the resources assigned to the policy in recent rounds of budget negotiations, have led to the introduction of changes in the…


The Contribution of ESI Funds to Jobs and Growth: How are the New Reforms Working?

The 2013 reform of Cohesion policy made significant changes to the regulatory framework for ESI Funds with important implications for the programming of the Funds and implementation. An important question is how these reforms are perceived ‘on the ground’ by managing authorities and other implementing bodies. This article examines how the reform changes have influenced…


European Identity and Citizen Attitudes to Cohesion Policy: What Do We Know?

This paper provides a state-of-the art review of the literature on European identity and on citizens’ attitudes to Cohesion policy. It is the first research paper in the COHESIFY project, which aims to assess the impact of Cohesion policy on citizens’ support for and identification with the European Union. The paper beings by examining the…


Case studies of regional bioeconomy strategies across Europe

This report provides a summary of issues raised in the four regional case studies: Scotland, SouthWest Netherlands, Saxony-Anhalt and Veneto. It examines the ways in which the bioeconomy has been defined in regional strategies and the ways in which those regional strategies have been initiated and implemented in the four regions. A primary driver of…