Essay-European Regional Policy
Subject : Critically analyse the history of the development of Regional Policy in the European Union as described in the course book 'Conditional Leadership' (full reference available in the course outline).
Assess the subsequent developments to regional policyusing evidence relating to at least three of the case study countriesused in the presentations to justify your answer.
The Regional Policy is the second spending of the European Union (347 Billion \ for 2007-2013) after the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Since the Rome Treaty of 1957, one of the main role of the community is “to promote harmonious development of economic activities”.
That is one of the main reason of the creation and the elaboration of a common regional policy.
The importance of this policy is also reminded at the time of each enlargement of the European Union, to permit the new member states to make up their development and to fill the different European requirements.
In the first part of this essay, I will try to critically analyse the history of the development of European Regional Policy as made by Jennifer R. Wozniak Boyle in her book : “Conditional Leadership – the European Commission and European Regional Policy”.
I will assess the development to regional policy using evidence relating to three countries studied in class :
Belgium, because it was one of the founding member states of Europe, then Greece because this country became member state in 1981 and was, before 2004 and still is one of the main beneficiary of the funds for regional development and then Slovenia because this state was one of the 10 new member states of the 2004 enlargement which moved deeply the European Regional Policy.
In the course book, the author analyses the development of the European Regional Policy (ERP) chronologically.
She starts in 1969 with the first discussions on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and then discuss the reforms of 1979, 1985, 1989, 1993 and 1999.
But more than the evolution of the European Regional Policy, it is the role and the influence played by the commission during those reforms she analyses.
On her point of view, the evolution of the ERDF “provides an excellent case for probing the Commission's role in European integration” (Wozniak Boyle, 2006, p15)
She is using this practical example to explain which one of the two theories; intergovernmentalism and supranational institutionalism, explains the best the European integration process.
She describes the evolution of the ERDF to an independent and supranational organization as mainly as the result of the work of the commission.
She uses very positive expression to describe the behaviour of the commission: “independent commission” , “Commission's successful implementation of the ERDF”... (Wozniak Boyle, 2006, p67)