The EU’s economic policy is based on political experiment and innovation. We are placing the macro-regional strategies into this learning procedure and positioning them compared to the economic policy toolkit of the EU. After analysing and comparing these new concepts (Baltic Sea, Danube and other potential macro-regional strategies) we classify the EU’s economic policy in terms of implementation and coordination. Accordingly, macro-regional strategies are cooperative, have soft coordination and their territorial-functional focuses reflect increasing differentiation and integration. In our view, potentially feasible, more tightened fiscal and sectoral coordination through macro-regions can give a new impulse to the cooperation on EU level and improve EU’s competitiveness. Still, limited EU resources, insufficiently deep integration and softer coordination can all enhance the fragmentation further and can notably limit the room for manoeuvring of the EU in tackling external, internal challenges.
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