Chapter 18: Cohesion policy in the sparsely populated countries
This chapter on sparsely populated countries covers the implementation of Cohesion policy in five European Union (EU) countries with the lowest population density in the EU _ Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania _ attempting to capture the challenges in the policy implementation in sparsely populated areas as well as to identify and explain differences in funding allocations and policy outcomes. Overview information on population data and Nomenclature of Territorial Units 2 (NUTS 2) level regions in five countries is provided in the chapter, followed by a review of the Cohesion policy allocations and their structure in terms of eligibility to overall policy objectives and commitment appropriations. Further analyses include the challenges in implementation processes as well as findings on the outcomes and results of Cohesion policy interventions. It is argued that two subgroups of countries in relation to Cohesion policy exist among the sparsely populated countries: two Nordic countries (Finland and Sweden), and three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). They differ by the amounts allocated from Cohesion policy financing, eligibility to various funds, degree of centralisation of implementation systems and fields of investment where the Cohesion policy funding is spent, and the kind of results that have been achieved.
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