The Urban Dimension of the EU Cohesion Policy and Beyond
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Annual Review of Territorial Governance in Albania, I, 2018, Page 167-177
The EU Cohesion Policy is without a doubt one of the most valuable and innovative of the European Union policies. This article briefly describes Cohesion Policy from the perspective of the European Commission/DG REGIO. This description is followed by a critical analysis of the shortcomings of Cohesion Policy in practice – the aspects that weaken the integration of policy areas and constrain the influence of local governments. The next sections summarize the state of affairs in planning Cohesion Policy post-2020, reflecting on the unfavourable conditions (Brexit, re-nationalizing efforts) shaping the future priorities of Cohesion Policy. The Western Balkan Network on Territorial Governance is a promising effort to prepare the territorial actors of the Western Balkan region for the EU in the best possible way, both as an influencer and as a recipient of the EU regulatory and financial structures.
This article is based on the presentation given at the Network Initiating Workshop of the Western Balkan Network on Territorial Governance, held at the POLIS University in Tirana, on 17-18 May 2018.