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Political Research Exchange - PRX

The EU New Economic Governance and EU Cohesion Policy: More Effectiveness and Less Solidarity?

European Politics
European Union
Social Policy
George Andreou
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
George Andreou
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

The article examines the linkages between EU cohesion policy and the coordination processes of national policies that have emerged in the EU since 2000 – the Lisbon Strategy, ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy and the ‘new economic governance’ - through the lenses of public policy analysis and historical institutionalism. The development of close links between cohesion policy and the aforementioned processes is expected to enhance the added value of cohesion policy and to improve the overall policy mix in the EU. However, at the level of policy goals, the partial decoupling of cohesion policy from its initial mission – reducing territorial inequalities – constitutes a blow for European integration, since it undermines the foundations of the goal of cohesion and of the element of solidarity that the latter entails. Moreover, at the level of policy means, this change legitimizes the small reduction of the resources dedicated to cohesion, as well as the distribution of a significant part of these resources to the wealthier EU member states. Finally, the connection between cohesion policy and the new economic governance is likely to become counterproductive because it produces congestion at the level of policy goals and complexity at the level of policy means.
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