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Regional policy depends on efficient administrative systems for designing and implementing strategies, and places considerable demands on Member States’ public administrations in terms of e.g. financial management and monitoring; project selection procedures; ex ante environmental impact assessments and cost-benefit analyses; and the monitoring and evaluation of outputs, results and impacts. EU member states have taken a range of different approaches to the administration of regional policy.
The construction of regions in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe became one of the important debate topics for preparation for EU membership. Despite the numerous similarities in the changes that have taken place in the territorial structures of the Eastern and Central European countries, the differences in the responses individual countries gave to the challenges of regional development and the varied results of their development efforts demonstrate that the “Eastern European Bloc” is at least as heterogeneous as the former member states of the European Union. EU accession opened up a Pandora’s Box in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. The fundamental issue of how unitarily structured states can be set on a decentralised path became the centre of debate. The paper introduces the Central and Eastern European achievements of region building processes and searches for an explanation of the reasons for the difficulties of Eastern and Central Europe in regional construction; it summarises the administrative and political development pre-requisites of the transition to a regional outline of the possible advantages of a regional institutional system in the creation of the Cohesion Policy ensuring a decrease in regional differences.

About the Author

Gyula Horváth

Centre for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; H-7621 Pécs, Papnövelde u. 22, Hungary


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