The Regional and Urban Policy of the European Union
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The Regional and Urban Policy of the European Union

Cohesion, Results-Orientation and Smart Specialisation

Philip McCann

The regional and urban development policy of the European Union, or more precisely, EU Cohesion Policy, is undergoing change. This development is driven by the enormous transformations in European regions and by shifts in thinking and analysis. The issues raised by the changes to regional and urban development policy in Europe span many academic disciplines and build on different research methodologies. A broad approach is required in order to address these issues and this book explicitly incorporates insights from a range of different disciplines. After examining the major regional and urban features of the European economy and discussing the analytical underpinnings of the current re-design to EU Cohesion Policy, the book also aims to provide a road map of the various EU regional and urban data-sources which are available to researchers and policy-makers. This book is aimed at all economists, geographers, regional scientists, spatial planners, transportation scientists, sociologists, urban studies researchers, environmental scholars, political scientists and policy-analysts who are interested in regional and urban issues.
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Chapter 7: Conclusions on the reforms to the regional and urban policy in the European Union

Philip McCann


The aim of this book is to explain the nature and rationale for the reforms to EU Cohesion Policy, the European Union’s regional and urban development policy. In essence EU Cohesion Policy aims to promote the growth and development of Europe’s economically weaker regions so that they are able to play a more enhanced role in Europe’s Single Market. This is to be realised by means of policy interventions and actions intended to foster many of the positive aspects of local growth and to mitigate some of the most severe and adverse aspects of local decline. The policy has already received a great deal of scrutiny over many years, as is warranted for major policies such as this. However, all aspects of the policy have received a fundamental reconsideration over recent years as a result of many different intellectual, practical and political economy influences deriving from many different quarters. These influences have ranged from openly hostile critiques to many different recommendations for reform based on different insights and experiences. These various critiques and recommendations have been incorporated into a wide-ranging reconsideration and redesign of the policy which has been implemented from 2014 onwards. In the light of these intellectual, practical and political economy influences, this book sets out to explain the broad development case for the policy and also the conceptual basis underpinning its current reforms.

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