The Dynamics of Change in EU Governance

The Dynamics of Change in EU Governance

Studies in EU Reform and Enlargement series

Edited by Udo Diedrichs, Wulf Reiners and Wolfgang Wessels

This book brings together the research of different academic disciplines to explore the recent transformation of governance in the European Union. The emergence, execution and evolution of new modes of EU governance across several policy fields – encompassing all three former pillars of the European Union – are mapped, analysed and evaluated. In particular, the contributors focus on the ways in which these innovative mechanisms and practices relate to ‘old’ methods of governance and what their implications are for both the effectiveness and efficiency of policy-making. Particular attention is devoted to the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the shape of EU governance. Conclusions are drawn in the form of an integrated framework that explores the dynamics and differentiation of EU governance.

Chapter 6: Cohesion Policy in the New Member States: Unfolding New Modes of Governance?

Kálmán Dezséri and Krisztina Vida

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, regulation and governance


Kálmán Dezséri and Krisztina Vida INTRODUCTION This chapter analyses briefly the governance modes of cohesion policy at the European Union level and, in more detail, its implementation in eight new member states, putting special emphasis on the existence of new modes of governance in this policy field.1 At the European level the elements of ‘new’ (or rather alternative) modes of governance complement the classical modes by providing for a ‘learning path’ before sovereignty is ceded to the EU level, and for more efficiency, democracy and legitimacy after sovereignty has been ceded. Thus it seems justifiable to speak of ‘mixed modes’ of governance, pointing to the combination of old, or classical, and new methods, showing the signs of continuous evolution in both the horizontal (EU institutions’ interactions) and the vertical (involvement of regional and local partners) dimensions. As regards national implementation of cohesion policy, the EU has created a framework of legal, procedural and financial conditions that actually initiate a kind of decentralization and involvement of the regional and local governments, civil society and other stakeholders in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring processes, with a view to enabling EU structural assistance to be efficiently absorbed. Although there are no EU rules binding member states to decentralize and maximize participation, effective utilization of the different funds does call for compliance with these principles (Lakatos, 2007: 178). Thus, through the design and implementation of cohesion policy, new, multi-level and multiactor types of governance modes can be identified. This chapter sheds...

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