The CSF Revolution: The Origins and Structure of EU Cohesion Policy

  • Robert Leonardi


The Treaty of Rome of 1957 which established the European Economic Community (EEC) contained in its preamble a broad goal of ensuring the harmonious development of the economies of the member states by “reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of the less favored regions” (EC Treaties, 1987: 119). The goal was restated in Article 2 of the Rome Treaty through which the member states formally pledged to promote “the harmonious development of economic activities” throughout the Community. However, in a real sense, these statements were expressions of a goal in search of a policy given that no specific regional development policy was part of the Rome Treaty nor, as a consequence, was there any provision in terms of institutional machinery or specific funding to fulfill that goal. The institutions that were designed to have an impact on regional disparities were the European Investment Bank (EIB) to provide low interest loans for national government to undertake infrastructure projects and the European Social Fund (ESF) to provide aid to immigrant workers.


Member State National Government Regional Policy Regional Disparity Structural Fund 
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© Robert Leonardi 2005

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  • Robert Leonardi

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