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:
- Riccardo Crescenzi, Davide Luca, Simona Milio. “The geography of the economic crisis in Europe: national macroeconomic conditions, regional structural factors and short-term economic performance“, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 12 January 2016
- Riccardo Crescenzi, Davide Luca, Simona Milio. “Austerity and the slow recovery of European city-regions“, Oxford University Press, 27 April 2016