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Employment and Regional Development Policy. Market Efficiency Versus Policy Intervention

Studies in Spatial Development
Helmut Karl, Philippe Rollet (Eds.)
pospapier_143.pdf (610.01 KB)

Implemented by a joint initiative of ARL and DATAR (Délégation à l´Aménagement du Territoire et à l´Action Régionale) an international group of experts reflected regional development policies. Due to a variety of reasons, economic development is accompanied with different regional performances in terms of income, employment, growth etc. Empirical studies and theoretical works in modern regional economics indicate that even in relatively homogeneous groups of countries like the EU economic convergence need time and this is certainly true after EU enlargement, because new Member States with a lower economic performance joint the community. To enhance efficiency and reduce disparities across regions, different approaches have been proposed as a framework for regional development policy. Among them are the growth pole concept, spatial economic corridors, and recently, spatial economic networks. This last one emphasizes the role of cooperation among regions and provides a new spatial policy framework. Instead of considering the individual problem regions (as the traditional approach does) trans-national networks and European macro-regions constitute the new typology of the spatial policy framework. Within this new paradigm of regional policy there is a greater tendency to see regions in terms of spatial economic networks and to see the EU as a part of a global competitive innovation system. Due to the economic and political structure of the new Member States and the Candidate Countries regional policies should concentrate on infrastructure, human and social capital, network formation to facilitate the transfer of innovation technology, on areas affected by industrial conversion and on the role played by interregional, international and trans-border cooperation. They should support the modernisation of the institutional system in Central and Eastern Europe and the process of decentralization not only institutional, but also financially. They should enhance local administrative competencies and promote the periphery of the new Member States and the Candidate Countries and increase the cross-border cooperation. These measures together with a substantial reform of EU regional policy and their funds are necessary to make the enlargement to a success story.

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