Our calculations reveal that places where EU regional development projects bind together participants from different countries experience higher economic growth. Purely national interregional projects, on the other hand, are not associated with such benefits. The results hold across regions of different levels of income and consider the effects of other growth-determinants. Cross-border projects might bring efficiency gains, unlock synergies and provide knowledge transfers, boosting activity, with gains going beyond the projects’ scope. Cross-border projects could provide perhaps the only rationale for the continued cohesion/regional funding of more developed regions.
Bruegel senior fellow Zsolt Darvas talks to Sean Gibson in this Deep Focus podcast about how the EU can improve its cohesion policy, citing the best examples of its implementation and stressing the methodological difficulties in measuring its effectiveness.
This study by Zsolt Darvas, Antoine Mathieu Collin, Jan Mazza, and Catarina Midões analyses the characteristics of cohesion policy projects that can contribute to successful outcomes. Their analysis is based on a literature survey, an econometric analysis and interviews with stakeholders. About two dozen project characteristics are considered, and their association with economic growth is studied using a novel methodology. Based on the findings, the study concludes with recommendations for cohesion policy reform.
This policy contribution investigates the performance of the design, implementation and effectiveness of cohesion policy, the most evaluated EU tool for promoting economic convergence. By analysing the effects of cohesion policy on economic growth through reviewing literature, conducting empirical research by comparing regions, as well as considering attitudes and expectations collected through interviewing stakeholders, the authors provide reform recommendations.
This Policy Contribution was written for the Informal ECOFIN Meeting, Bucharest, 5 April 2019. The authors look at the EU’s economic agenda, discussing the priorities for the next five years.
Testimony at the Committee on Budgetary Control of the European Parliament.
Bruegel scholars Zsolt Darvas and Guntram Wolff contributed to the September 2018 edition of the OeNB's Focus on European Economic Integration.
Cohesion spending is proposed by the Commission to increase by 6% in the next MFF, but inflation is expected to reduce the real value of such spending by 7%. The gradual convergence of the least developed regions to the EU average reduces the need for cohesion spending. Common agricultural spending is proposed to be cut by 4%, while if we consider inflation too, the reduction in real value is 15%.
In the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum, income inequality and poverty boosted ‘leave’ votes, in addition to geographical differences and larger shares of uneducated and older people in UK regions, according to my regression analysis. The actual presence of immigrants did not have a significant effect on the results. Disadvantaged people voted in smaller proportions. Turnout was also low among the young and residents of Scotland, Northern Ireland and London, who were more likely to vote ‘remain’.
This year countries of Central and Eastern Europe celebrate two important anniversaries: 25 years since the beginning of post-communist transition (1989) and 10 years since the first wave of EU Eastern Enlargement (2004). Such anniversaries provide a good occasion to look both behind and ahead and summarize both successes and failures.
Since their accession to the European Union ten years ago, something extraordinary has been going on in Central European capitals. Measured in purchasing power standards (PPS), Warsaw, Bratislava and Prague now have a higher GDP per capita than Vienna. Meanwhile, poorer regions have been showing much weaker convergence.
Structural and Cohesion Funds, if properly used, can represent an important instrument for economic growth. The European Council conclusions of 8 February 2013 include the decision to impose a capping to the maximum amount of Structural and Cohesion Funds each member state can receive per year. The capping is set at 2.35 percent of GDP or 2.59 percent if average real growth over 2008-2010 was lower than - 1 percent.