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Planning, Spending and Evaluation of European Development Funds


  • Marco Causi
  • Antonio Ranieri


Despite significant public resources devoted to EU structural policies, the available intermediate and ex-post evaluations of these interventions do not seem to offer proper assessment on “what works” and what doesn’t. This paper analy-ses one of the reasons behind this "evaluation deficit". It suggests that given the particularly complex decision making process - involving different decision levels and multiple objectives - the budget constraints defined at the higher levels of the programming process tend to produce sub-optimal results with serious conse-quences for public expenditure effectiveness. With a simple representation scheme, and with the aim of opening discussion of the potentials and limits of evaluation for the future, the paper points out the existence of an “implementation paradox”: how, and to what extent, is it possible to reinforce connections between the macro objectives defined at the higher levels and the individual poli-cies/projects downstream in the planning process?

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Causi & Antonio Ranieri, 2005. "Planning, Spending and Evaluation of European Development Funds," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 4, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0024

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    More about this item


    Infrastructures; Regional Development Policy; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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