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The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and the regional convergence

by Carlos San Juan Mesonada and Carlos Sunyer. 7th UECE Conference on Economic and Financial Adjustments ISEG/UL – School of Economics and Management / University of Lisbon.-Lisbon, 13th of September 2019

Tuesday 10 September 2019, by Carlos San Juan

The primary added value of this research is that it allows comparison of the results in terms of convergence of two budgetary periods covering different phases of the economic cycle and two ESIF operational programs. Results, using ex-post data of the funds invest, show that the effects on the real convergence of the regions were different after the recession that took place from 2007-13 (after the economic boost 2000-06) We use the available data for the periods 2000-06 and 2007-13. The level of indebtedness in the region has a definite adverse effect on the effectiveness of European projects. Additionally, we identified an apparent spillover effect from the funds towards other border regions on those that are formally receiving. Changes in economic cycles seem to have a significant impact on the ability of funds to contribute to the growth of the regional economy. Therefore it is essential to be able to adapt the funds according to the phase of the business cycle. Especially during the downturns, to ensure their effectiveness. The anti-crisis fund budgeted in the draft budget perspectives for the multi-annual 2021-27 could fulfill this function as long as it reaches a sufficient volume to have significant effects.

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