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.
|Title of host publication||Annual Conference Regional Studies Association 2018|
|Subtitle of host publication||A Leading and Impactful Community|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
|Event||Annual 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 2018 → 6 Jun 2018
|Conference||Annual Conference of the Regional Studies Association (RSA)|
|Period||3/06/18 → 6/06/18|