Regional lobbying and structural funds: Do regional representation offices in Brussels deliver?

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Series Details Vol.28, No.2, April 2018, p199-229
Publication Date April 2018
ISSN 1359-7566
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In recent years regional representation offices have proliferated in Brussels. Among the many aims of these offices are influencing the allocation and securing the transfer of European Structural and Cohesion funds. However, our knowledge about whether they have succeeded in this goal is limited. In this paper, we assess whether regional offices in Brussels have managed to affect the commitment and payment of Structural and Cohesion funds beyond the officially stated economic criteria of eligibility.

The paper uses a custom-made survey of Brussels offices, complemented by economic, institutional, and political data. The results of the analyses for 123 regions over the period 2009-13 highlight that the capacity – proxied by the budget and staff of the office – of the regional offices to influence the commitment and payment of Structural and Cohesion funds has been negligible, when not outright negative. Regional lobbying in Brussels does not lead to more funds or to an easier disbursement of regional development funds.

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Countries / Regions
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