The Cash Divide. The Allocation of European Union Regional Grants
Journal of European Public Policy, 18(7) 2011
36 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2016 Last revised: 29 Mar 2016
Date Written: 2011
To promote economic and social cohesion, the European Union (EU) structural funds part-finance public investment programmes in European regions with about 30 billion Euro per year. This article develops an explanation for the apportionment of structural funds across EU regions. It is argued that the Commission’s decisions on regional transfer levels reflect its bureaucratic interest and potentially undermine EU goals. Using a new dataset on regional transfer payments in the EU-15 from 2000-2006, and qualitative interviews with decision-makers, this argument is tested and corroborated. In doing so, it is shown that the recipient regions’ level of economic affluence is a necessary, but no sufficient explanatory factor for regional transfer levels. In contrast to previous findings in the literature, the empirical record does not suggest that regional partisan politics have an effect on the size of regional transfer levels.
Keywords: Budget, EU executive politics, European Commission, fiscal transfers, structural funds
JEL Classification: H30, H87
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation