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European Cohesion in a Regional Context: A Study of Two Swedish Regional Development Strategies
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this report is to investigate European cohesion politics and how it relates to regional development strategies. The aim is, through the investigation of this linkage, get a clearer picture of how cohesion politics is translated into actual practise and how it contributes to European regions development. A framework summarising key attributes of cohesion is constructed to work as an analytical tool. The analysis then is conducted on two Swedish regional development strategies where the connections between the two regional strategies and cohesion politics is examined. One of these strategies purposefully implements cohesion politics while the other does not which makes a comparison in between the two interesting. This works as a second step in the analysis and is meant to help elucidate if and how cohesion has made the two strategies differ. The result is that the two regional development strategies are very similar, both in comparison to each other as well as that they contain equal amounts of attributes of cohesion. The analysis boils down to a discussion about how and if European cohesion politics offer guidelines for European regions in the way it is thought to or if the guidelines are redundant and the regions should decide their line of development on their own. Tied to European cohesion politics is a couple of funds and possibilities for regions to get financial aid. An argumentation is conducted towards that perhaps the Union’s responsibility should stay with the distribution of financial aid and leave the policy work for the regions in order to make the use of the funds more efficient. It seems difficult for the EU to set guidelines that apply to all regions within and this might be a reason for the vague definition(s) that is associated to cohesion. The conclusion drawn from this research is that cohesion politics seems not to be directly linked to regional strategic planning but rather within a planning discourse held by its practitioners. It is also concluded that the how system, by which cohesion politics and cohesion funds are distributed, works seems suboptimal. A proposal for reworking the system giving regions greater freedom seems preferable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SoM EX, 2014-15
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-146904OAI: diva2:726380
Subject / course
Urban and Regional Planning
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Urban Management
Available from: 2014-10-09 Created: 2014-06-18 Last updated: 2014-10-09Bibliographically approved

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