The final report of the Cohesion Policy Research network is available here.
Report on the RSA Workshop on EU Cohesion Policy in Eastern and Southern Europe: Taking Stock and Drawing Lessons for the Future is available here: https://regions.regionalstudies.org/ezine/article/report-on-the-rsa-workshop-on-eu-cohesion-policy-in-eastern-and-southern-europe-taking-stock-and-drawing-lessons-for-the-future/
EU cohesion policy remains one of the most prominent and hotly debated of EU policies, while being a test bed for a range of new policy approaches and ideas. This policy supports the implementation of Europe 2020 strategy and provides assistance to disadvantaged regions and localities through a uniquemulti-level governance system and the use of a constantly evolving set of instruments.
EU cohesion policy is also highly contested and controversial, which leads to heated policy debates and makes it a fascinating topic for scholarly inquiry. On the one hand, it has been credited for generating ‘added value’ in terms of improvement of administrative capacity and triggering modernisation processes within territorial administration across the Member States by diffusion of standards of ‘good governance’ and policy practices such as partnership, multi-annual programming, place-based approach to development policy, evaluation, cross-border cooperation, etc. It has also been an important driver for the improvement in the quality of life in the recipient areas. On the other hand, EU cohesion policy has been heavily criticised for the lack of tangible results, an issue which is hotly debated in the current context of crisis and austerity and remains vital for the policy’s future. It is thus critically important to deliver a more effective EU cohesion policy, which would be capable of providing the European regions with a much needed stimulus, while creating more added value and providing innovative policy instruments to tackle the current daunting economic challenges. In this context, improving knowledge and methods about evaluation of cohesion policy – concerning both the effectiveness and impacts on investment in different domains and the governance models – will contribute to a more evidence-baseddebate.
Our main ambition for the coming three years is to continue encouraging an open discussion on the most salient issues concerning EU cohesion policy and nurturing understanding between academics specialising in EU cohesion policy, while at the same time engaging with, and learning from, practitioners and policy-makers. We will achieve that by organising a series of international workshopsto be held across different locations in Europe. The topics for the forthcoming workshops include (1) territorial impacts of cohesion policy, (2) evaluation, (3) the urban dimension and (4) the implementation of cohesion policy in Southern and East-Central European member states, the main beneficiaries of this policy, as well as the lessons for candidate countries in the Balkans and beyond. In addition, our focus will be on producing concrete outputs, thus each of those events will be organised with the aim to produce a thematic special issue in a leading peer-reviewed journal pushing forward the academic and policy debate on EU cohesion policy.
LEARNING FROM IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION OF THE EU COHESION POLICY. LESSONS FROM A RESEARCH-POLICY DIALOGUE
Edited by Nicola Francesco Dotti
In 2015, the Regional Studies Association (RSA) celebrated 50 years and one of the keywords of this (hi)story is “impactful”. Having an impact requires to be able to bring research-based knowledge to policymakers moving out of the academic ‘Ivory Tower’ and engaging in policy debate, thus acknowledging the societal role of research. Yet, this requires changing the traditional approach to research, academic conferences, publications and scientific workshops. This volume aims to tackle the challenge of a research-policy dialogue addressing the case of the Cohesion Policy (CP), the most important EU regional policy and, probably, the most complex policy in the world for economic, social, geographical, cultural, administrative and legal reasons. This challenge is even more relevant in this period when Europe is showing difficulties to fully recover from the financial and economic crisis that started in 2008, and the following political crisis that culminated with ‘Brexit’. In this context, researchers are called to be ‘impactful’, proposing research-based policy lessons that can feed the political debate. In a period of crisis, research-policy dialogue is needed; however, how to make it happen is not easy. This volume adopts a ‘policy learning’ perspective proposing sixteen different research-based policy lessons to contribute to the debate on policy learning in the case of the EU Cohesion Policy, and beyond. For more information please contact: Nicola.Dotti@uclouvain.be
CONTRIBUTIONS BY: John BACHTLER, Sylwia BORKOWSKA-WASZAK, Jan BRUHA, Jim CAMPBELL, Michele CINCERA, Riccardo CRESCENZI, Frank CROWLEY, Nicola Francesco DOTTI, Massimo FLORIO, Ugo FRATESI, Benito GIORDANO, Lidia GRECO, Silke HAARICH, Marek W. KOZAK, Leaza MCSORLEY, Vassilis MONASTIRIOTIS, Paulo NETO, Kathryn NEWCOMER, Karol OLEJNICZAK, Serafin PAZOS-VIDAL, Julie PELLEGRIN, Laura POLVERARI, Oto POTLUKA, Anabela SANTOS, Fanny SBARAGLIA, Maria Manuel SERRANO, Emanuela SIRTORI, Pawel ŚLIWOWSKI, Alba SMERIGLIO, Silvia VIGNETTI, Lukasz WIDLA-DOMARADZKI, Dominika WOJTOWICZ