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Sustainable Growth, Competitiveness and Employment

Will EU Cohesion Policy Deliver on the Lisbon Strategy?

John Bachtler and Irene McMaster


The relaunched “growth and jobs” agenda of the EU is reflected in the Community Strategic Guidelines on Cohesion. These have influenced the content of the new Structural Funds programmes, with increased importance accorded to innovation, knowledge and entrepreneurship. There is evidence of a more strategic approach to economic development and a stronger prioritisation of support. Whether this makes a difference to the Lisbon agenda depends on how the programme objectives are implemented as well as the broader regulatory and other changes required in National Reform Programmes. Convincing Member States of the importance of Cohesion policy also depends on the impact of the Funds being identifiable.