Throughout the history of European integration economic wealth has increased to the benefit of citizens in the European Union (EU).
Yet inequalities in well-being persist within and between Europe’s regions, which may undermine the legitimacy of the EU in the eyes of citizens and fuel populist nationalism. This book investigates how the EU can use its regional funding programmes in ways that increase citizen well-being. The book shows that while EU social investments improve labour market performance in rich EU regions, they exacerbate income inequality in poor regions. Based on this insight, the book presents a theory on the conditions under which EU spending will enhance well-being. Crucially, it argues the case for enhancing the inclusivity of EU growth, which yields the promise of a more legitimate and stronger union.
Dr Lisa Dellmuth is Associate Professor of International Relations at Stockholm University. She obtained her PhD in political science from the University of Mannheim in 2011. Her research focuses on legitimacy and redistribution in global governance, with a particular focus on the European Union. Her work is published in journals such as the British Journal of Political Science, European Journal of Political Research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A., and Review of International Organizations. Her most recent book, Is Europe Good for You? EU Spending and Well-Being, will appear in June 2021 with Policy Press (Bristol, UK).
Professor Iain Begg is Professorial Research Fellow at LSE European Institute.