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EU COHESION POLICY NEEDS DIFFERENTIATED POLICY MIX ADEQUATE TO SPECIFICS OF ECONOMIC REGIONS

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Author(s): Gheorghe ZAMAN | Daniela-Luminita CONSTANTIN | Zizi GOSCHIN

Journal: Revista Romana de Economie
ISSN 1220-5567

Volume: 26;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 33;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: EU enlargement | cohesion policy | regional disparities | regional typology | convergence | EU funds | absorption capacity

ABSTRACT
The 2007-2013 programming period of the EU focuses on economic and social cohesion via three fundamental objectives: convergence – competitiveness and employment – European territorial co-operation. The horizontal dimension of cohesion policy refers to diminishing the regional disparities and solidarity with the lagging regions’ population. Considering the big regional disparities in the New Member States (NMS) as well as the gap between their GDP per capita at national level and the EU average, these countries are the main beneficiary of the EU financial allocations, especially via convergence objective. However, two interrelated questions are entailed by this issue. One of them refers to the capacity of these countries to absorb effectively the EU funds. The other one concentrates on the impact of the absorbed EU funds, in other words to the qualitative aspects of the absorption capacity. Our paper discusses these aspects mainly from the viewpoint of regional disparities in the NMS, proposing a typology of their regions based on the main regional growth characteristics. The implications of the structural assistance on regional disparities are also addressed, taking into consideration economic and social criteria and requirements at EU, national, regional and local levels.
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