Future perspectives of EU Cohesion Policy
Unlike the single European market and the single currency, EU cohesion policy – although the subject of major reforms at the end of the 1980s - has never been ex-posed to as rigorous investigation and research about its objectives and impact evaluation as the other two policy initiatives. As a result, the cohesion policy cycle consisting of design, implementation, monitoring and impact evaluation shows weaknesses at all of its stages, but especially at the microeconomic and macroeco-nomic level. In this paper we look at the different issues that influence approaches to EU cohesion policy, critique the way the policy cycle is implemented in practice, and conclude that a more rigorous and systematic approach is necessary and feasi-ble in order to justify the interventions in terms of returns to the investments.
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