Town Planning Review

The contribution of European Structural Funds to territorial cohesion

Town Planning Review (2005), 76, (1), 29–42.

Abstract

In considering how EU regional policy should evolve in future, there may be useful lessons in the recent experience of implementing the Structural Funds. While it is true that the long-standing objectives of European regional policy have been primarily concerned with reducing economic and social disparities, it can be argued that the Structural Funds are already contributing to increased territorial cohesion within the EU. This paper pursues this proposition. It begins by examining the evolution of Structural Fund programmes over the past 15 years and then discusses the strategic objectives of Objective 1 and Objective 2 programmes, covering both the 1994–99 and 2000–06 programming periods. The paper considers explanations for the shifts identified, before concluding with some reflections about the future importance of territorial cohesion within EU regional policy.

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Author details

Polverari, Laura

Bachtler, John