Written by Christiaan van Lierop,
The European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC) this October is a unique opportunity for regions and cities to showcase their achievements in implementing cohesion policy. Organised jointly by the European Commission’s DG for Regional and Urban Policy and the Committee of the Regions, Europe’s largest gathering of local and regional representatives will attract some 6 000 people to four days of workshops, debate and discovery. The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has prepared a compendium of briefings to tie in with some of this year’s main themes and will be present with an information stand during the whole event.
Under the banner of ‘Regions and cities for sustainable and inclusive growth’, the 2016 European Week of Regions and Cities will focus on the following three thematic priorities:
- Sustained and sustainable and economic growth;
- Inclusive economic growth;
- Making ESI Funds simpler.
The first document in our compendium, Snapshot of the EU regions looking at selected Europe 2020 targets, offers a user-friendly visual guide to a number of Europe 2020 targets, including purchasing power standard per inhabitant; people at risk of poverty and social inclusion; as well as a breakdown of how ESIF is allocated across the Member States. An easy to understand overview of the cohesion fund, How the EU budget is spent: Cohesion Fund, provides key figures and data, examines its overall objectives and investment priorities, and evaluates the fund itself. Our briefing on Beyond GDP: Regional development indicators investigates the various alternatives to GDP as a means of measuring progress and assesses the different regional level indicators in use across the EU.
Bridging the rural-urban divide: Rural partnerships in the EU considers the increasingly blurred boundaries between rural and urban regions, and analyses rural-urban interaction, as well as the tools supporting integrated territorial development in the 2014-2020 policy framework. Smart specialisation: the concept and its application to EU cohesion policy explains the idea behind smart specialisation and how it ties in with cohesion policy, including the role of smart specialisation strategies. The role of cohesion policy in advancing the implementation of EU environmental policies is considered in our briefing on Sustainability and EU cohesion policy, which discusses the framework for environmental integration within cohesion policy and examines the policy’s environmental performance. Cohesion policy and the integration of migrants in urban areas discusses the contribution of cohesion policy in this area, including new policy developments such as the Urban Agenda for the EU, and assesses the limitations of ESIF for the integration of migrants. The topic of social inclusion is also picked up in our briefing on Cohesion policy and marginalised communities, which examines the measures supporting such groups under the 2014-2020 cohesion framework, and assesses the effectiveness of cohesion funding for Roma inclusion in particular.
See also our publication on
‘How the EU Budget is Spent: European Regional Development Fund‘.
Challenges for EU cohesion policy. Issues in the forthcoming post-2020 reform looks in detail at the ten main issues for future reflection in the debate on the reform of cohesion policy post-2020, covering such topics as how cohesion policy can best contribute to competitiveness and cohesion. Our compendium is rounded off with a briefing on Evaluating cohesion policy for better efficiency, which considers the strengths and limitations of evaluations for assessing the impact of cohesion policy programmes and examines the methodology behind them.
This year, the EPRS is also organising a workshop on research for policymakers, in cooperation with the European Parliament Policy Department for Structural & Cohesion Policies, as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities annual Master Class for PhD students. The workshop will discuss how the European Parliament uses research on cohesion and regional policy in its work and in the policy-making process, giving students an opportunity to interact directly with experts from the European Parliament.