New Horizons in Public Policy series
Edited by Fergus Carr and Andrew Massey
Chapter 14: EU Regional Policy: From Side Payment to Societal Security
Mike Mannin Enlargement has changed the arena and agenda of structural funding. The foreseeable expansion of the EU by 10–12 new member states during the 1990s produced an integrated response by the Commission. Agenda 2000 (1997) included explicit recommendations for EU ﬁnancial and policy frameworks to incorporate enlargement as well as a message for the Council of Ministers to hasten institutional reforms commensurate with enlargement and its consequential new policy arrangements (Commission, 1997).1 This, together with the implementation of Stage III of Economic and Monetary Union (1999), a persistently disappointing economic performance from several member states in recent years and, a consequently defensive intergovernmental atmosphere, was the arena for the future discussion of regional policy in the early years of the millennium. In such circumstances the role of structural funding, the main ﬁnancial agent of an EU Regional Policy (EURP), took on a new signiﬁcance. This begs the question of what the EURP agenda is. Can a complexity of policy objectives and budgetary envelopes, of inter-institutional responsibilities, of EU-wide and member state initiatives and funding arrangements, amount to a coherent policy agenda? It is perhaps worthwhile brieﬂy deﬁning the notion of EURP before attempting to answer this question.2 WHAT IS EURP? When applied at nation-state level the term regional policy refers to the intervention of a centrally directed public sector in the market and in social processes of specially denominated arenas, in order to reduce economic inequalities that exist within the state as a result...
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