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Transforming European regional policy: a results-driven agenda and smart specialization


  • Philip McCann
  • Raquel Ortega-Argilés


The paper examines the nature, rationale, and logic of the reforms to EU Cohesion Policy. A particular focus of the paper is on the concept of smart specialization and the use of this concept to help facilitate a results-oriented policy agenda. On the one hand, the arguments underpinning the reforms in part relate to modern thinking regarding the role of industrial policy. On the other hand, they also partly relate to advances in our understanding of the relationships between economic geography, technology, and institutions. At the same time, the specific features of the EU context also heavily influence the nature and logic of the changes, whereby legal and institutional matters linking Cohesion Policy to other EU policies all play an important role. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip McCann & Raquel Ortega-Argilés, 2013. "Transforming European regional policy: a results-driven agenda and smart specialization," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 405-431, SUMMER.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:29:y:2013:i:2:p:405-431

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    Cited by:

    1. Di Gennaro, Daniele & Pellegrini, Guido, 2016. "Evaluating direct and indirect treatment effects in Italian R&D expenditures," MPRA Paper 76467, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Jan 2017.
    2. Philip McCann & Raquel Ortega-Argilés, 2016. "Smart specialisation, entrepreneurship and SMEs: issues and challenges for a results-oriented EU regional policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 537-552, April.
    3. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Ron Boschma & Joan Crespo & David L. Rigby, 2017. "Smart Specialization policy in the EU: Relatedness, Knowledge Complexity and Regional Diversification," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1717, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jul 2017.
    4. Matthias Firgo & Peter Mayerhofer, 2015. "Wissens-Spillovers und regionale Entwicklung - welche strukturpolitische Ausrichtung optimiert des Wachstum?," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 144, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    5. repec:wfo:wstudy:59427 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Carolina Castaldi & Koen Frenken & Bart Los, 2015. "Related Variety, Unrelated Variety and Technological Breakthroughs: An analysis of US State-Level Patenting," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(5), pages 767-781, May.
    7. repec:bla:presci:v:97:y:2018:i:1:p:151-170 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Piirainen, Kalle A. & Tanner, Anne Nygaard & Alkærsig, Lars, 2017. "Regional foresight and dynamics of smart specialization: A typology of regional diversification patterns," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 289-300.
    9. Andreas Reinstaller & Peter Reschenhofer, 2015. "Path dependence in national systems of production and "self discovery" of environmental technologies in the EU 28 countries," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 106, WWWforEurope.
    10. Akcomak, Semih & Erdil, Erkan & Cetinkaya, Umut Yılmaz, 2018. "Knowledge convergence in European regions: Towards cohesion?," MERIT Working Papers 027, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    11. Erik E. Lehmann & Nikolaus Seitz & Katharine Wirsching, 2017. "Smart finance for smart places to foster new venture creation," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 44(1), pages 51-75, March.
    12. repec:bla:presci:v:98:y:2019:i:1:p:133-166 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:wfo:wstudy:58342 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Fiore, Annamaria, 2016. "A three dimensional approach to regional Smart Specialization Strategy; An application to Puglia Region," MPRA Paper 83905, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. McAdam, Maura & Miller, Kristel & McAdam, Rodney, 2016. "Situated regional university incubation: A multi-level stakeholder perspective," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 50, pages 69-78.
    16. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:319-:d:128888 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Sabine D’Costa & Jose Enrique Garcilazo & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 2019. "Impact of macro‐structural reforms on the productivity growth of regions: Distance to the frontier matters," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(1), pages 133-166, February.
    18. repec:spr:jknowl:v:10:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s13132-017-0464-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Romeo-Victor Ionescu, 2016. "The Impact of the Regional Policy on the European Economy," EuroEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 1(35), pages 26-35, may.
    20. Adam Whittle, 2017. "Local and Non-Local Knowledge Typologies: Technological Complexity in the Irish Knowledge Space," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1728, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2017.

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