Challenges for Transport and Public Services
NECTAR Series on Transportation and Communications Networks Research
Edited by Karst T. Geurs, Roberto Patuelli and Tomaz Ponce Dentinho
Chapter 11: Accessibility and territorial cohesion: ex post analysis of Cohesion Fund infrastructure projects
Socio-economic disparities within Europe are expected to be reduced partly with proper transport investments. Several European Union (EU)-level policy frameworks (for example, the Treaty of Lisbon, the Europe 2020 Strategy) and the recently published White Paper on Transport (European Commission 2011b) emphasize the relationship between territorial cohesion and transportation investments. Deficiencies in transport accessibility of regions are seen as an obstacle for harmonious economic development within these frameworks. Therefore, many transport infrastructure projects are being funded or co-funded to improve connectivity of peripheral countries and to remove gaps between less and more developed parts of Europe. One of the most important efforts to achieve this goal has been the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) infrastructure projects in the past decades. However, it is not easy to assess impacts of such efforts thoroughly. A common framework for ex ante and ex post analysis of transport projects and policies in terms of monitoring change in accessibility and regional disparities is still lacking. Hence, an adequate framework should be developed in order to quantify to what extent the projects serve to increase transport accessibility and diminish regional disparities.
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