Handbook on Cohesion Policy in the EU
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Handbook on Cohesion Policy in the EU

Edited by Simona Piattoni and Laura Polverari

This Handbook covers all major aspects of EU Cohesion policy, one of the most significant areas of intervention of the European Union. Over five parts, It discusses this policy’s history and governing principles; the theoretical approaches from which it can be assessed; the inter-institutional and multi-level dynamics that it tends to elicit; its practical implementation and impact on EU member states; its interactions with other EU policies and strategies; and the cognitive maps and narratives with which it can be associated. An absolute must for all students of the EU.
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Chapter 8: Cohesion policy reform and the evolving role of the Council

John Bachtler and Carlos Mendez


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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