• Sascha Sardadvar
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE, volume 1)


Some decrease, others persist or even widen: regional disparities continue to constitute one of the major challenges for European economic policy. The accession of twelve countries to the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004 and January 1, 2007 has led to two major statistical effects, namely a decrease in the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of the European Union, and an increase in the gap between the most and the least developed regions. The relative importance of structural policy is reflected in the financial allocation in the current financial framework for 2007–2013: of a total budget of 864 billion euros (price-level of 2004), 308 billion euros are set aside for cohesion policy (European Council 2006, Article 19). Of these, 251 billion euros (European Council 2006, Article 19) are provided to “promote growth-enhancing conditions and factors leading to real Convergence for the least-developed Member States and regions” (European Commission 2006, p. 2, upper cases in the original), of which 153 billion euros are destined for the twelve new member states and their regions (European Commission 2006, p. 3).


European Union Human Capital Gross Domestic Product European Council Regional Disparity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SocioeconomicsVienna University of Economics and Business, Institute for Economic Geography and GIScienceViennaAustria

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