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The spatial coverage of regional policy in Central and Eastern Europe

Bachtler, J.F. and Downes, R. (2000) The spatial coverage of regional policy in Central and Eastern Europe. European Urban and Regional Studies, 7 (2). pp. 159-174. ISSN 0969-7764

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Abstract

Regional policy is currently one of the most dynamic areas of policy making in the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Neglected in favour of more urgent priorities in the early years of reform, the past five years have seen an upsurge of interest, political commitment and policy formulation and implementation in this field. In part, this reflects the progress of transition. Fundamental political and macro-economic reforms are now largely complete in most CEE countries, but the shift to a market economy is associated with new spatial patterns of economic and social inequality requiring government intervention. The greater attention to regional policy is also influenced by the prospect of EU accession. As Agenda 2000 (CEC, 1997) makes clear, candidate countries are required to have workable structures for receiving Structural and Cohesion Funds and regional development strategies in accordance with EU principles.