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(p. 405) 22. Cohesion Policy 

(p. 405) 22. Cohesion Policy
(p. 405) 22. Cohesion Policy

Ian Bache

, Simon Bulmer

, Stephen George

, and Owen Parker

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date: 07 July 2020

This chapter examines the European Union’s cohesion policy, which had its origins in the European Community’s regional policy. Despite evidence of wide disparities between Europe’s regions, the Treaty of Rome made no specific commitment to the creation of a Community regional policy. It was only in 1975 that a European regional fund was created, and a coherent supranational policy emerged only in 1988. The chapter traces key developments in cohesion policy, focusing on reforms made between 1988 and 2013. Enlargement and the single market programme provided the context for a major reform of the structural funds in 1988. In the 2013 reform, the Commission’s subsequent proposals linked cohesion policy to the goals of the Europe 2020 growth strategy. The chapter also considers shifts in the intergovernmental–supranational nature of policy control in the sector that first gave rise to the notion of multi-level governance.

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