Abstact Marek 2008

EU Cohesion Policy and Sub-National Authorities in the New Member States

Michael Baun and Dan Marek

Abstract: This article examines the impact of EU cohesion policy on sub-national authorities in the new member states, focusing on the implementation of cohesion policy in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Lithuania in the 2004–06 and 2007–13 programming periods. While in the initial programming period after accession cohesion policy was implemented in a highly centralized manner, in 2007–13 cohesion policy
implementation has been decentralized in the new member states and sub-national actors are playing a greater role. The role of sub-national authorities varies across countries, however, with democratically-elected regional governments in Poland and the Czech Republic asserting the greatest influence over cohesion policy. The constitutional position of sub-national authorities is the main factor explaining this variation, and the key determinant of whether sub-national authorities are able to successfully exploit the opportunities for access to new resources and influence presented by cohesion policy.

Keywords: Cohesion policy, European Union, new member states, sub-national au thorities, programming period 2007–13