Micro-Efficiency of the EU Cohesion Policy
80 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2008
Date Written: January 13, 2008
Cohesion policy micro-efficiency is determined by institutional or absorption capacity of recipient regions and Member States which, in turn, co-determines the policy's macro-economic impact. The analysis shows that cohesion policy is not perceived as an "EU receipts maximising instrument", but instead that it is understood as a means to the set objectives, i.e. that it is about the genuine impact. At the same time however, the analysis also shows that proper change in the implementation systems is needed. The paper puts forward four proposals for improvements, the most radical of them, the "coordinated full decentralisation", conceives cohesion policy as a bulk transfer of investment-conditioned financial resources, where full responsibility for the legality, regularity, efficiency and effectiveness would be entirely transferred to the Member States/regional level. The analysis reveals that subsidiarity principle is still not taken into account to a satisfactory degree, that experience and political context have significant influence on the (optimal) design of implementation systems and finally that, on average, there seems to be merit in concentration both with regards to the number of operational programmes (less so for their thematic focus) as well as to the number of institutions involved in the implementation systems, horizontally and especially vertically.
Keywords: EU, Cohesion policy, Regional policy, Absorption capacity, Implementation systems
JEL Classification: D73, D78, E61, R58, O23, H77
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation