The objective of this course is to discuss the questions pertaining to the concepts of solidarity and cohesion – two of the fundamental values of the European Union. Lectures start with a conceptual discussion focusing on the linkages between solidarity and cohesion. Secondly, the concepts of development, territorial inequalities and regional policy are examined and interpreted, the relationship between cohesion and economic integration are explored, the current socio-economic disparities in the territory of the ΕU are outlined, and the division of labour between the EU and the member states for the promotion of cohesion is sketched. A substantial part of the course is then dedicated to the analysis of the history, logic, principles and institutional framework of cohesion policy – a complex and ambitious European policy widely viewed as the main “EU solidarity tool”. The course concludes with a discussion of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), – a new, unprecedented, and temporary recovery instrument which aims at promoting the Union’s cohesion, making European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.
1. Key concepts
2. Territorial disparities in the EU
3. Economic integration and territorial disparities
4. Objectives, methods and instruments of regional policy
5. The EU cohesion policy – a historical overview
6. The institutional dimension of cohesion policy
7. The implementation of cohesion policy in the EU member states
8. The establishment of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)
9. The adoption and the implementation of National Recovery and Resilience Plans
- Andreou, G. (2017), “The EU New Economic Governance and EU Cohesion Policy: More Effectiveness and Less Solidarity?”, paper presented at ECPR Annual Conference, September, Oslo, available at https://ecpr.eu/Filestore/PaperProposal/de5f5e73-38c1-403b-9503-dd610456be47.pdf (accessed 10 June 2019).
- Bache, I. (2008), Europeanization and Multilevel Governance: Cohesion Policy in the European Union and Britain, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.
- Bachtler, J., Mendez, C. and Wishlade, F. (2013), EU Cohesion Policy and European Integration, Farnham: Ashgate.
- European Commission (2021), “Cohesion in Europe towards 2050; Eighth Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion”, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, available at https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/official/reports/cohesion8/8cr.pdf (accessed 18 May 2022).
- Ladi, S. and Tsarouhas, D. (2020), “EU economic governance and Covid-19: policy learning and windows of opportunity”, Journal of European Integration, Vol. 42, No. 8, pp. 1041-1056.