Table of Contents

Handbook on Cohesion Policy in the EU

Handbook on Cohesion Policy in the EU

Edited by Simona Piattoni and Laura Polverari

This Handbook covers all major aspects of EU Cohesion policy, one of the most significant areas of intervention of the European Union. Over five parts, It discusses this policy’s history and governing principles; the theoretical approaches from which it can be assessed; the inter-institutional and multi-level dynamics that it tends to elicit; its practical implementation and impact on EU member states; its interactions with other EU policies and strategies; and the cognitive maps and narratives with which it can be associated. An absolute must for all students of the EU.

Chapter 1: The history and evolution of Cohesion policy

Marco Brunazzo

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, regional studies


Cohesion policy targets all regions and cities in the European Union (EU) and aims at fostering business competitiveness, job creation, economic growth, sustainable development, and improving citizens’ quality of life. Since the second half of the 1980s, when this policy was founded, its aims and its resources have periodically changed. This chapter aims at describing and analysing the main turning points of EU Cohesion policy, exploring at the same time some of the political dynamics that have characterised this important policy.