Reshaping the EU budget and Cohesion Policy: carrying on, doing less, doing more or radical redesign?

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Series Details No.5, 2017
Publication Date May 2017
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The EoRPA Consortium is a grouping of regional policy departments and agencies from eleven European countries which collectively funds a research programme on regional policy developments (and the reasons for policy change) in the EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland. At the core of the research is a comparative assessment of changes in regional policy and regional policy instruments, set in the context of developing European frameworks (the Regional Aid Guidelines and the Structural Funds Regulations). The Consortium also funds thematic studies on selected contemporary regional policy issues.

The EoRPA Consortium is managed by the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) in the School of Government & Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. EoRPA is led by Professor John Bachtler and Fiona Wishlade.

EoRPA is the Gaelic word for Europe.Debates over the past year indicate that EU institutions and some Member States want to allocate substantially more funds to EU priorities such as youth employment, managing migration, security, adaptation to climate change and a quicker transition to clean energy.

Implications for Cohesion Policy include the possibilities of less spending on ESIF, an asymmetric approach to convergence, the prioritisation of social cohesion, measures to ensure faster implementation and stronger capacity, alignment with economic governance, revision of the Berlin formula, a different geographical focus and new budgetary sanctions.

Cohesion policymakers stress the value of the policy in delivering collective action in responding to EU objectives related to globalisation, competitiveness and climate change, as well as the capability of smart specialisation strategies in designing and implementing coordinated policy interventions.

Policy reform will have to incorporate more flexibility in response to unforeseen challenges, the need for structural reforms to improve effectiveness and ensure that administrations have sufficient capacity, and simplification especially through common rules.

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