Multidimensionality of implementation and performance of Cohesion Policy in EU regions. COHESIFY RESEARCH PAPER 8
The study presents various dimensions of the diversity of European regions in terms of the implementation and effects of Cohesion Policy and present recommendations for the planned analysis of the EU citizens’ opinions on Cohesion Policy in varied regional contexts. On the basis of factor analysis, we highlighted three main factors of these differences related to the scale of Cohesion Policy allocation, significance of the reported achievements of this policy and the context of intervention in the form of growth dynamics of the regions. Due to the fact that these factors were uncorrelated, this indicated a weakness of the links between the expenditure incurred and its effects, as well as a broader impact of the intervention on the processes of economic development. Moreover, the classification of European regions proposed using these three factors demonstrated the importance of the national dimension of the differences in this respect, while regional differences played only a minor role and were noticeable above all in those countries whose regions were covered by the different objectives of Cohesion Policy (convergence vs. competitiveness). This suggests that the most important difference between regions is related to the eligibility to use the Cohesion Policy funds. This differentiation originated from the processes of European Union integration and enlargement and the gradual evolution of Cohesion Policy itself.