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The turning points of EU cohesion policy, Working Paper Report to Barca Report

Manzella, GP and Mendez, Carlos (2009) The turning points of EU cohesion policy, Working Paper Report to Barca Report. [Report]

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Abstract

In more recent discussions on the future of Cohesion policy, however, both critics and supporters have tended to agree on the need for a “modernisation” of the policy, in recognition of existing weakness in the current approach and of the emerging challenges faced by the European economy, society and broader integration process. In this context of reform, this paper will take a step back in time to examine the origins and evolution of Cohesion policy, with a view to shedding some light on its core dynamics and revealing some of the lessons of history. In doing so, the main objectives of this paper are to identify the main historical turning points in Cohesion policy, the trends and nature of changes witnessed, and the key underlying factors facilitating or obstructing policy reform over time.