From Policy Takers to Policy Makers: Adapting EU Cohesion Policy to the Needs of the New (2005:5)

The countries in "the class of 2004" are now full-fledged members of the European Union, with equal rights to participate in the policy process shaping its future. This implies a quality leap in their political status. From having been "policy takers", bound to adapt to the policy legacy of EU15, the new Member States will now also be "policy makers", taking full part in the collective deliberations concerning the further development of this acquis.

This raises a set of new questions about the future design of Structural and Cohesion Policy. SIEPS, in collaboration with six European research institutes, has examined five of the ten new members with a view to adapting Cohesion Policy so that it becomes more in tune with their specific needs. The study concludes, inter alia, that the pre-accession support, while having helped to prepare for EU membership, has revealed institutional shortcomings that to a large extent will remain; that resources are needed for continued administrative and legislative reform; and that more national control over the Cohesion Policy should be allowed.

The report was presented at the seminar The Future Cohesion Policy in the New Member States and is a part of the research project EU Regional Policy.

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