Cohesion Policy Is No Charity

It Should Be Treated as an Investment Tool

13 November 2019

The European Union’s cohesion policy risks a major reduction of funds under the next Multiannual Financial Framework, despite its palpable effects on economic growth and competitiveness. Net contributors should not forget how much they owe themselves to cohesion funds.

The idea behind cohesion policy dates back to post-war attempts at boosting growth in Europe. Today, we are faced with a similar situation due to the eurozone’s sluggish performance, a lack of optimism about the economy and a possible recession.

Cohesion policy should be treated as a crucial stimulus for the economy. If not, we might cut off the nose to spite the face. Western countries all too often treat cohesion policy as a charity cause and too rarely as a business opportunity, which it actually is.

Gutting the Marshall Plan

Looking back, the first manifestation of cohesion policy is the Marshall Plan, which was US post-war assistance to Europe to boost the economy and improve the quality of life for Europeans. More than half a century has passed since then.

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Piotr Arak

Head of the Polish Economic Institute

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