Linking Cohesion Policy and Citizens’ Identification with the EU in Regions: Between Opportunism and Euroscepticism in the Netherlands

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


Cohesion Policy being the EU’s policy, bringing investment funds to European regions, has arguably the most tangible impacts on the citizens’ environment and livelihoods. One could thus expect that it has a significant positive impact on the ways in which citizens perceive the EU. But does it? How does the regional context affect this linkage between the use of European funding for regional development and the identification with the EU? This paper brings an element of response to this question through study of two Dutch regions -Flevoland and Limburg - conducted as part of the Horizon 2020 COHESIFY project (Grant Agreement no 693427). The first used to be a substantial receiver of Structural Funds, but today finds itself marginalised in the stream of EU funding, while the latter is at the heart of a cross-border area with deeply embedded cooperation long-supported by Cohesion Policy. Although citizens in both regions show attachment to the EU, the perception of how the EU works tends to be negative. To what extent are those views related to the ways in which EU Cohesion Policy has been implemented in those regions? Drawing on interviews with the key policy stakeholders, surveys and focus groups with citizens, the paper explores this question and sheds light on the capacity of Cohesion Policy to mobilise positive European identification from the perspective of a country that is a net contributor to EU budget.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Conference Regional Studies Association 2018
Subtitle of host publicationA Leading and Impactful Community
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAnnual Conference of the Regional Studies Association (RSA): A World of Flows: Labour Mobility, Capital and Knowledge in an Age of Global Reversal and Regional Revival - Lugano, Switzerland
Duration: 3 Jun 20186 Jun 2018


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Regional Studies Association (RSA)

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