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Anna Zabrodzka “Convergence Across EU Regions and the Role of the EU Cohesion Policy” – PhD Seminar
While there is evidence that the poorest regions in the European Union experienced the fastest economic growth, the gap between the richest and the poorest has not diminished. Additionally, after more than 30 years of intervention, there is no clear and conclusive evidence that the EU Cohesion Policy has effectively contributed to economic development across the disadvantaged Europe and ensured rising equality across the continent. The inconclusive or often contradictory results of the existing studies warrant further investigation. The aim of this study is to contribute to the discussion and evaluate the macroeconomic impact of the EU Cohesion Policy on the growth of European regions and the process of economic convergence. The study attempts to answer the following question – Is there evidence that the EU structural funds supported economic growth and in turn convergence process among European subnational regions? – by using cross-section, panel and dynamic panel analysis and the newly available dataset on annual payments provided by the European Commission. The main contribution of this paper is the expansion of the data sample by the 2007-2014 programming period and inclusion of the regions in the Central and Eastern Europe, which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, in the investigation.