What next for EU Cohesion Policy?

11 March 2011
Claire Dhéret (Head of Social Europe & Well-being programme and Senior Policy Analyst)

Growing debate on the future of Cohesion Policy is taking place in the context of forthcoming negotiations on the post 2013 EU budget. This Policy Brief by Claire Dhéret analyses whether the current debate is going in the right direction if Cohesion Policy is to promote the well-being of Europeans - a key objective of the EU - in the future. The author argues that the direction Cohesion Policy is currently moving in does not take a holistic approach towards the many determinants of citizens’ life satisfaction. It only focuses on the efficiency objective of the policy and relegates the equity objective to a secondary role. Instead of only sharing out EU cohesion funds on the basis of the level of GDP, the author also suggests taking appropriate social indicators into account, and recognising the economic value of pursuing the equity objective.

What next for EU Cohesion Policy? Going 'beyond GDP' to deliver greater well-being