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

  • Robert Leonardi

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Member State National Government Regional Policy Regional Disparity Structural Fund 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    See D.F. Darwent, “Growth Poles and Growth Centers in Regional Planning: A Review” in John Firedmann and William Alonso (eds) Regional Policy: Readings in Theory and Applications, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1975, pp. 539–565.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    In 1991 Sir Donald MacDougall reported that in the first Community report on regional disparities, the 1968 MacDougall Report, the expectation was that 5 to 7% of Community GDP was necessary to make a real impact on reducing regional disparities, but he expressed the view that the current allocation, 1.27%, could in the medium term — given its “real, not just financial objectives” — was in a position to make real gains in achieving the original goal of reducing regional disparities. See his Foreword, pp. 5–6, in Iain Begg and David Mayes, A New Strategy for Social and Economic Cohesion After 1992, European Parliament, 1991.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
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  4. 5.
    European Commission, The Regions of Europe: The First Periodic Report, Luxembourg: Office of Official Publications of the European Communities, 1981 and The Regions in the Enlarged Community: Third Periodic Report, Luxembourg: Office of Official Publications of the European Communities, 1987.Google Scholar
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    For an empirical evaluation of the IMPs, see G. Bianchi “The IMPs: A Missed Opportunity?” in R. Leonardi The Regions and the European Community: The Regional Response to the Single Market in Underdeveloped Areas, Frank Cass, 1993, pp. 47–70.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    See CCE, The First Periodic Report (1981) op. cit. and the The Regions of Europe: The Second Periodic Report on the Social and Economic Situation and Development in the Regions of the Community, Luxemburg: Office of Official Publications of the European Communities, 1984. The purpose of the Periodic Reports was to monitor the course of regional disparities.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    See CCE, The Report on Economic and Monetary Union in the European Community, Luxemburg: Office of the Official Publications of the European Communities, 1989 and Nicola Fielder “The origins of the Single Market” in V. Bornschier (ed.) State-building in Europe: The Revitalization of Western European Integration, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 75–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 14.
    For a first evaluation of the CSFs in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain see R.Y. Nanetti, Coordination in Development Planning: An Evaluation of the Initial Implementation of the Community Support Framework, Brussels, CEC, 1992.Google Scholar
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    See SVIMEZ, Rapporto 1995 sulVeconomia del Mezzogiorno, Bologna: Il Mulino, 1995.Google Scholar
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    CCE, Agenda 2000, Supplement 5/97to the Official Journal of the European Union, Luxemburg, 1997.Google Scholar
  12. 28.
    For a complete discussion of the new regulations, see CCE, Structural Actions 2000–2006: Commentary and Regulations, Luxemburg: Office of Official Publications of the European Communities, 2000.Google Scholar

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© Robert Leonardi 2005

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  • Robert Leonardi

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