Have Regions Converged? Sigma and Beta Convergence in Objective 1 and Other EU Regions between 1988 and 1999
The definition and significance of cohesion has been hotly debated among political scientists and economists since the concept first made its appearance in the Single European Act (SEA), but it was with the subsequent Treaty on European Union (i.e., the Maastricht Treaty) of 1993 (Article B) that economic and social cohesion became one of the three primary economic objectives along with the Single Market and European Monetary Union (EMU). Many had argued that the full opening of national markets to European-wide competition and the elimination of the ability of member states to manipulate exchange rates to compensate for the decline in national and regional competitiveness would have a significant negative impact on less developed areas,1 and therefore, a significant change in the approach adopted by the European Union to the challenges of regional development in an open European market had to be implemented.
KeywordsMember State Regional Disparity European Monetary Union Cohesion Policy Regional Competitiveness
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