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EU Cohesion Policy in Sweden (1995-2013) – A Territorial Impact Assessment

Eduardo Medeiros

By making use of a territorial impact assessment procedure (TARGET_TIA), this paper evaluates the main territorial impacts of the implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in Sweden since it entered in the European Union (1995) until 2013. The main findings can be summarised as follows: overall, the general potential impact was low positive (0.129 in 4), and was slightly higher in the Territorial Governance/Cooperation and on the Socioeconomic Cohesion, than on the Environmental Sustainability and Morphologic Polycentricity dimension of Territorial Cohesion. Hence, the question remains, does one of the most developed countries in the world need a cohesion policy to improve its territorial development and cohesion? In this regard, our research concluded that, despite the reduced impacts of the EU Cohesion Policy in promoting territorial development and in achieving the goal of territorial cohesion in Sweden, it was a pivotal vehicle in supporting and enhancing: (i) territorial cooperation processes; (ii) policy monitoring and evaluation practices; (iii) multi-level governance practices; and (iv) mitigating the socioeconomic disadvantages from less developed regions.

Senior research fellow in Centre for geographical studies (CEG - Centro de Estudos Geográficos) and Geography Professor at Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning (IGOT), Lisbon University, Portugal.


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