Smail., Robin (2010) The response of cohesion policy to the economic crisis. EIPAScope, 2010 (2). ISSN 1025-6253
The global economic crisis has had a major impact on the economies of EU Member States and on the livelihoods of millions of households. GDP has declined, many businesses are struggling, unemployment has risen sharply. The EU responded with the European Economic Recovery Plan, which encouraged Member States to provide a fiscal stimulus to their economies. As a result of this, the bail-out of the banks, and the impact of the recession, public sector budget deficits and public debt levels have risen dramatically. Cohesion Policy – designed to help the disadvantaged regions and communities of the EU – has made an important contribution to the Recovery Plan. A range of measures has been taken through a series of amending regulations. The objective has been to simplify and clarify the Structural Fund regulations, to protect project implementation and to accelerate spending on the ground. Cohesion Policy has shown itself to be responsive and flexible. Unlike so many areas of public expenditure, it focuses on investment and is designed to provide a positive socio-economic return for communities and economies.
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