Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI)




Christian Hagemann, M.A.

Forschungsprojekt (Dissertation, abgeschlossen und erfolgreich disputiert)

The Conditions of Successful Implementation of Cohesion Policy in Central and Eastern Europe

The implementation of Cohesion Policy in the new member states of the EU poses an interesting puzzle: theoretically, huge sums are available to build new infrastructure and to support local businesses in the EU’s poorest regions. Access to these funds was often mentioned among the central reasons for these countries to shoulder the burden of the accession process. Practically, however, many of them now struggle to make use of this money and might even loose some of their funds entirely because of decommitment rules.

To address this puzzle, I ask for the conditions of successful cohesion policy implementation in the new member states. The project engages findings of earlier studies that stress a difference between successful formal compliance and lagging practical implementation in these countries. By taking a closer look at Cohesion Policy, I aim to contribute to the knowledge of the influence of domestic political factors on policy implementation in a crucial field of EU intervention.

Methodologically, I combine cross-country comparisons on the basis of a Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) with in-depth case studies. Data collection is based on programming documents, progress and evaluation reports, as well as a number of qualitative, semi-structured interviews with experts and practitioners in selected new member states (Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania). A preliminary research design and empirical application was presented at the 2014 ECPR Joint Sessions in Salamanca.