Impact of the Economic Crisis on Social, Economic and Territorial Cohesion of the EU

June 2014

Impact of the Economic Crisis on Social, Economic and Territorial Cohesion of the EU

The impact of the economic and financial crisis is still being felt. It started as an acute crisis of the banking system, but then quickly affected the real economy, causing a substantial slump in business investment, household demand and output. European Union economies were deeply affected: in 2009 the EU GDP fell by 4.1% and industrial production by 20%.

In November 2008, the European Commission launched a European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) with a view to coordinate Member States’ action in response to the crisis. Among other things, the Plan stressed the importance of the role of cohesion policy in mitigating the effects of the crisis. Indeed, the Structural Funds, especially the European Social Fund, proved to be a remarkably flexible instrument, and the speed with which its procedures allowed for a re-direction of the funds has been praised. Nevertheless, its ability to adjust to widely diverse national and local contexts that have been impacted differently by the effects of the crisis, and to support the different patterns of economic growth that will result from it, is yet to be seen.

In this context, the Study uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in order to provide an overview of the impact of the crisis across Member States and regions, in terms of economic, social and territorial cohesion, and to assess the responses of cohesion policy to counteract the crisis.

This project has led to the following academic output:

Client: European Parliament – DG for Internal Policies

Authors: Simona Milio, in cooperation with Riccardo Crescenzi, Waltraud Schelkle, Niccolo Durazzi, Elitsa Garnizova, Pawel Janowski, Agnieszka Olechnicka, Dominika Wojtowicz, Davide Luca & Maria Fossarello

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