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Cohesion policy after Brexit: the economic, social and institutional challenges

  • JOHN BACHTLER (a1) and IAIN BEGG (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

Since 1988, when the current EU Cohesion Policy was introduced, it has played an influential role in setting priorities for policies aimed at dealing with the effects of European economic integration on regional and social disparities. Although, latterly, the amount of money spent in the UK through the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) has declined, EU programmes have had a disproportionate effect on the design and implementation of UK policies shaping regional and local economic and social development. This paper starts by recalling how EU Cohesion Policy has functioned in the UK, then considers how Brexit may affect regional and social development and the need for a corresponding policy response, focusing on the sorts of policies currently supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The paper shows that filling the policy vacuum will be far from straightforward because complementary national policies and institutional frameworks have lacked consistency or coherence. It concludes by examining the wider policy issues arising from rethinking domestic policy outside the ESIF framework. The sub-national level, in particular, will need a fresh approach following Brexit.

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References
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Journal of Social Policy
  • ISSN: 0047-2794
  • EISSN: 1469-7823
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