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Comparing the influence of structural funds programmes on regional development approaches in Western Scotland and Silesia: adaptation or assimilation?

Ferry, M. (2007) Comparing the influence of structural funds programmes on regional development approaches in Western Scotland and Silesia: adaptation or assimilation? European Journal of Spacial Development (28). ISSN 1650-9544

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Abstract

The implementation of EU Structural Funds (SF) programmes is credited with influencing the focus and content of domestic regional development activities, enhancing coordination of national and sub-national levels tasked with regional development and strengthening partnerships between public, private and voluntary actors. However, the influence of programmes is uneven. Analyses, based on the Europeanization literature, present a complex relationship between EU and domestic factors. A range of variables has been identified to explain this differential influence. The paper contends that, when considering New Member States (NMS) from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), this approach requires reorientation. In the face of strategically weak and under-resourced domestic approaches, programmes are driving, rather than attempting to adjust, the domestic regional development agendas. To support this, the paper takes a comparative approach, assessing the influence of programmes in cases from opposite ends of the SF implementation spectrum: the UK (Western Scotland) and Poland (Silesia).