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 7: The Commission and Cohesion policy

Ingeborg Tömmel


The European Commission has always played a pivotal role in advocating, establishing, expanding and reforming Cohesion policy. Yet in pursuing its goals, the Commission was and is always dependent on the member states for decision-making and policy implementation. Thus contestation between the Commission and the member states, represented through the Councils, characterises the evolution of cohesion policy. This chapter focuses on these processes and on the role of the Commission therein. It shows how the Commission, in response to fierce resistance from the member states, shaped the governance model of Cohesion policy in adaptation to the multilevel, non-hierarchical structure of the European polity

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