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Improving the added value of EU Cohesion policy Professor John Bachtler European Policies Research Centre University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

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Presentation on theme: "Improving the added value of EU Cohesion policy Professor John Bachtler European Policies Research Centre University of Strathclyde, Glasgow"— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving the added value of EU Cohesion policy Professor John Bachtler European Policies Research Centre University of Strathclyde, Glasgow EPP-ED Committee Hearing A New Regional Policy: Innovative Ideas for the Post-2013 Reform European Parliament, 8 November 2007

2 2 European Policies Research Centre  specialises in comparative research on public policy throughout Europe  focus on monitoring and analysis of regional development policies at European, national and sub-national levels  policy research, advice and exchange of experience through two networks: –IQ-Net (Improving the Quality of Programme Management) – regional and national Structural Fund programme management authorities from 14 Member States (www.eprc.strath.ac.uk/iqnet) –EoRPA (European Regional Policy Research Network) - national government departments responsible for regional policy – 10 countries (www.eprc.strath.ac.uk/eorpa)

3 3 Improving the added value of Cohesion policy  Added value of Cohesion policy –What are the lessons? –What is the scope for change? –What needs to change?  Improving the added value of Cohesion policy –policy focus –policy management

4 4 The added value of Cohesion policy: What are the lessons?  Substantial transfers of resources to the poorer Member States and regions  Significant evidence for positive economic and employment effects….…  … but several studies have found limited impacts on regional disparities or long-term growth  Key concerns –over-reliance on infrastructure investment (especially in the 1990s); insufficient attention to education and human capital –business aid less effective in poorer regions –effectiveness dependent on institutional capacity and supportive policy environment

5 5 The added value of Cohesion policy: What are the lessons?  Some positive qualitative effects… –levering-in of additional resources for economic development –multi-annual planning process –partnership –monitoring and evaluation –implications for European integration  ….but again, effects are disputed or qualified –negative aspects are complexity and bureaucracy –effects more prevalent in Objective 2 than Objective 1 (and historical in some cases)  Conclusion: the added value of the policy is mixed

6 6 The added value of Cohesion policy: What is the scope for change? Scope for change is constrained by…  ‘pork barrel’ politics –use of Cohesion policy as a mechanism for securing agreement on net balances –perverse outcomes for spatial allocation of resources  perception of the budget review as a starting point for the next Financial Perspective  institutional inertia

7 7 The added value of Cohesion policy: What is the scope for change?  Emerging Member State views… –net payer emphasis is again likely to focus on limiting policy to poor countries or poor regions –EU12 aim is to ensure a well-funded policy (but this may not be universal) –southern EU15 concern is for an ‘all region’ policy (but may be delivered through Heading 1a) –small EU15 countries are concerned about the quality of the policy (Lisbon focus, efficiency)  Conclusion: a greater need to justify the policy and to improve demonstrable added value

8 8 The added value of Cohesion policy: What needs to change?  Recognition of regional variability  Integration of national (regional) policy objectives  More flexibility to deal with change  Less prescriptive approach to challenges  Stronger emphasis on policy additionality/innovation

9 9 Improving the added value with a ‘smarter’ Cohesion policy – focus  Key objective: how can the EU best assist regions (or territories) to manage economic, social and environmental change?  Incorporate a stronger functional approach to policy - helping regions to address questions such as…. –How can the three dimensions of policy – spatial, sectoral and thematic – be effectively integrated into a coherent whole? –How should the territorial allocation of expenditure be prioritised? –How can the unequal potential and capacity of regions for development be best addressed? –How can a systemic, collaborative approach be achieved in an efficient and effective way? –How can a balance between regional coherence and local innovation and understanding be achieved? –What is the most effective way of achieving a balance between setting clear strategic direction and ensuring sufficient flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions?

10 10 Improving the added value with a ‘smarter’ Cohesion policy - management A ‘smart’ policy, which is not just about money……  strategic vision – establishing a broad framework for territorial action  financial resources – where they are lacking, essentially in poorer MS; elsewhere, subject to a ‘test’ of policy innovation  institution-building and human capacity development – support for systems, structures and people (to develop strategies, design programmes, manage expenditure, implement instruments, evaluate interventions)  knowledge – generating new ideas, investing in new learning, mobilising the flow/exchange of knowledge, facilitating the application of good practice and innovative ideas  coordination – bringing together actors to collaborate, primarily and particularly at the supra-national level

11 11 Improving the added value of Cohesion policy Thank you for your attention!


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