The Structural Funds of the European Union
Edited by Massimo Florio
2. Cost–beneﬁt analysis and EU cohesion policy Andrea Mairate and Francesco Angelini INTRODUCTION As part of the European Union budgetary package for the 2007–13 period, €308 billion have been allocated to support the cohesion policy in the EU. More than 80 per cent of the available funds are targeted at the least developed areas of the Union. In the recently acceded Member States, the ﬁnancial allocations are capped at about 4 per cent of their GDP. This represents the biggest transfer of resources to promote growth and convergence in Europe since the Marshall Plan. There are strong and legitimate expectations that cohesion policy will create a positive economic shock that will stimulate investment and would help the recipient economies to achieve real convergence and economic take oﬀ. The Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund (hereinafter, ‘the Funds’) are the main ﬁnancial instruments used to promote cohesion, that is to reduce socio-economic disparities between the level of development of the various regions of the Union. In the context of the renewed ‘Lisbon agenda’, EU cohesion policy is also targeted to increasing growth, competitiveness and employment and contributing to sustainable development. The purpose of this chapter is to review the role of cost–beneﬁt analysis (CBA) in assisting policymakers’ public investment decisions in the framework of EU cohesion policy. The purpose for requiring ex ante (that is prior to the adoption of any public commitment to a project) a CBA is twofold: on the one hand, the results...
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