Regional Policy

Enlargement 11-07-2017

EU enlargement: A six percent target for the Western Balkans

If the Western Balkans are to overcome almost three decades of economic stagnation and crisis, they will need to double their annual growth rates. This will need a fundamental rethink of the EU’s enlargement policy, argue Tobias Flessenkemper and Dušan Reljić.

Enlargement 05-05-2017

Kosovo needs a new beginning

In Kosovo, far too much time has been spent on issues like border demarcation. Delivering peace instead of war is one thing but that is not enough when young people want a good education and their parents want jobs, warns Kosovar politician Kadri Veseli.

Enlargement 16-08-2016

Biden hails gold medal for a country Serbia says doesn’t exist

US Vice-President Joe Biden has chosen this week to come to what is still Europe’s great unfinished business – the West Balkans. Can Biden knock any sense into his Serb hosts? Unlikely, says Denis MacShane.

Brexit 14-07-2016

Brexit: What about the Northern Ireland Peace Process?

Shortly after the results came in, Sinn Fein declared it would seek a vote on Irish reunification. Consequently, by voting in favour of Brexit, British voters may have endangered the progress of the Northern Ireland Peace Process, writes Karlijn Jans.

Refugees: Local and regional leaders call for targeted financing

European institutions and member states need to guarantee the necessary resources, via targeted financing for the towns and regions that host them, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) states in a petition.

Transport 02-06-2016

Zaventem’s Frankenstein airport provides a test case for the EU

Brussels’ Zaventem Airport has evolved into Frankenstein’s monster, processing more than 20 million passengers and millions of tonnes of cargo annually. And it’s growing, as jets fly round the clock over the rooftops of the city, write a number of concerned citizens and organisations.

Will Smart Specialisation impact Europe’s textile regions?

In the EU Cohesion Policy programming for 2014-2020, Smart Specialisation Strategies are a new tool for regions to design their investment in research and innovation. Europe’s leading textile regions united in RegioTex initiative to realise this potential, writes Lutz Walter.

Climate change 29-03-2016

EU money should not help destroy Bulgaria’s Kresna Gorge

The Bulgarian government is planning to carve a major motorway through the spectacular Kresna Gorge, one of Europe’s richest nature havens, using EU funds. The consequences for wildlife and the local community could be damaging, writes Magda Stoczkiewicz.

Euro & Finance 02-03-2016

Is cohesion policy under threat?

Cohesion Policy, the European Union’s main investment policy tool, is soon to face a struggle for survival. One that could threaten the core values of solidarity and convergence of regional disparities on which the EU has been built up, write Nikos Lampropoulos and Francesco Molica.

09-10-2015

Reaching SDGs from the ground up

Hundreds, thousands of towns and regions from every continent are working at their level, for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), writes Frédéric Vallier.

26-06-2015

It’s time to recognise community currencies

Local authorities and municipalities across Europe are increasingly turning to innovative approaches to meet continuing socio-economic challenges, writes Leander Bindewald.

Bas Verkerk, ALDE-CoR's President
10-07-2014

High time for an EU Urban Agenda

Bas Verkerk is the mayor of the Dutch city of Delft and the president of the ALDE Group in the Committee of the Regions (CoR). He is rapporteur of the CoR opinion on 'An integrated Urban Agenda for the EU'.

26-06-2013

Some critical thoughts regarding regional reform in Romania

The danger regarding regionalisation in the EU in general, and Romania in particular, is that it may change from innovation into mere fashion, writes Alina Bargaoanu.

25-04-2013

The Arctic Council needs to open up

Set up initially as an intergovernmental forum to promote cooperation among Arctic states, the Council is failing to adequately accommodate rising interest from outside the region and needs reform, argues, Roderick Kefferpütz.

29-01-2013

An EU budget for recovery and Europe’s citizens

The next long-term budget for the EU must recognise cities’ potential for playing a much greater role in the economic recovery and therefore the urgent priority for investment in urban Europe, writes Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz.

06-12-2012

East Germany: A haven for the far right?

German statistics and anecdotal evidence show that far-right groups are more active in regions that were part of the former East Germany. Despite reunification, the eastern regions have remained less developed economically than the western regions, writes Stratfor.

09-10-2012

Regional funds: It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality

Western and Eastern European governments fighting over some billions less or more to the EU's next multi-annual budget (2014-2020) would better focus on how to spend this precious resource, writes Miroslav Mojžiš.

28-09-2012

1,000 words for the EU budget 2014-20

If the scheduled extraordinary European Council in November does not agree on a framework for the 2014-2020 budget or if the European Parliament denies its approval, the future of the EU will be held hostage to an unstable and unmanageable environment, argues Ivailo Kalfin.

28-08-2012

More integration with more attractive regions for investment

There are still significant economic disparities within the EU, such as the ones between North and South or among different EU regions. But EU member states have a common interest in tackling those challenges together, argues Rodi Kratsa-Tsagapopoulou.

05-06-2012

Europe’s competitiveness divide

Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain have a serious structural competitiveness problem, despite the billions of EU taxpayers’ money that these countries received as grants from EU development funds in the past decades, says Martin Bruncko.

11-04-2012

The illicit benefits of Bulgaria’s EU membership

Accession to the European Union means prosperity and new economic opportunities for businesses and people, or so goes the argument. In the case of Bulgaria, this is evidently true for the underworld, writes Barbara Frye.

17-11-2011

Cohesion policy: Watch out for the steps back

The European Commission's proposals that urge member states to invest part of their regional development fund on low-carbon and energy-efficiency measures sounds very encouraging, argues Markus Trilling of the CEE Bankwatch Network. The question that remains though is whether these proposals will be sufficient enough to secure the conditions for a sustainable regional development.

05-07-2011

Unleashing the potential of Central and Eastern Europe

As the budget debate begins, cohesion policy remains critical to creating the infrastructure that Central and Eastern European EU members need to unleash their full potential for growth and convergence with the rest of the Union, argues Hendrik Bourgeois of General Electric.

09-06-2011

Future cohesion policy: The basis of EU’s competitiveness

Romanian centre-right MEP Petru Constantin Luhan argues that cohesion funds, distributed on the basis of a region's lower GDP per head, should continue to be used to promote solidarity and competitiveness within the EU.