Julian Ramajo, Miguel A. Márquez

The Economic Effects of the Cohesion Policy in Extremadura 1994-2020: 25 Years of Programs and Funds of the European Union

The objective of this work is to provide an exploratory analysis of the economic effects of various Operational Programs implemented in Extremadura, the only Spanish region that, in the context of the European Cohesion Policy, still remains in the group of less developed regions (with a per capita income lower than 75% of the European average). After carrying out an examination of some of the most relevant socio-economic characteristics of Extremadura, a homogeneous summary of the expenditure made during the programming periods 2000-2006 and 2007-2013 is included as a starting point, followed by a brief description of the general spending guidelines in the current period (2014-2020). Subsequently, a review of the works that have estimated the contribution of the European cohesion policy to the growth of Extremadura production and employment during the periods 1994-1999, 2000-2006, 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 is presented. As results, some of the quantifications existing in the literature on the economic effects of the different multiannual financial frameworks are systematized. The conclusions obtained highlight the importance of the European territorial cohesion policy for regions that, like Extremadura, are affected by important structural weaknesses that make their prosperity and competitiveness very difficult.

Keywords: cohesion policy; structural funds; operational programs; Extremadura

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