Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The Impact of European Integration and Enlargement on Regional Structural Change and Cohesion - EURECO, EUR 22370

Project ID: HPSE-CT-2002-00118


The overall scientific objective of this project was to identify and explain in a crosscountry analysis the impact of deepening and widening of economic integration on regional structural change and cohesion in current European Union (EU) member states and accession countries. A summary of our main research results is given below. These findings provide a basis for the evaluation of the likely overall allocation and distributional implications of deepening and widening of the EU and of policy at European, national and local levels.
In the EU-15 member states regional structural change has taken place at a slow speed. Regional production structures are converging to the EU-15 average level, so that more specialised regions are becoming more diverse and less specialised regions are becoming more specialised. In terms of the regional performance, those regions that are highly specialised in resource dependent industries such as iron and steel industries, and agriculture, are not performing well, and one might consider these regions as losers from the integration process. On the other hand, central regions tend to perform above average, while remote regions appear to be catching-up. Semi-central and semi-remote regions show a very mixed picture.
An initial high specialisation at the regional level had a negative impact on employment growth. This negative relation can be observed, in particular, in regions specialized in resource dependent and industries with increasing returns to scale. The significantly negative industry-specific specialization-growth nexus did, however, generally not translate into a negative aggregate specialization-growth nexus.

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