Chapter 8: Cohesion policy reform and the evolving role of the Council
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Cohesion policy-making is a complex process involving budgetary and regulatory dimensions and the interplay between different institutions at European Union (EU), national and subnational levels as well as formal and informal alliances and networks of countries, regions and interest groups. This chapter examines the chronology of the 2013 reform of Cohesion policy for the 2014_2020 period and reflects on the distinctive EU interinstitutional features and outcomes of the reform. It argues that the latest reform in 2013 was arguably the biggest reform since 1988, with significant changes to the objectives, spatial coverage, thematic focus, conditionality and governance of the policy, and involved a recalibration of EU interinstitutional relationships with important implications for the design, implementation and legitimacy of Cohesion policy in the present and future.

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