Durkan, Joe. 'Symposium on structural and cohension funds: background and some issues'. - Dublin: Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland,Vol. XXVI, Pt. V, 1992/1993, pp135-144
Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland Vol. XXV, Pt. V, 1992/1993
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), and
the guidance element of the European Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) associated
with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) constitute the Structural Funds of the European
Each of these Funds was begun separately and was designed to meet particular needs. For
example, the Regional Fund was originally designed to mitigate the effect on regions of the
Community of existing inequalities by region, adverse effects resulting from the operation
of the Rome Treaty, and a natural tendency to centralisation and the effects this has on the
periphery, while the Guidance section of the European Guidance and Guarantee Fund was
focused on structural improvement in farming.
The Act establishing the Single Market (the Single European Act) required that these funds
be reorganised to become more effective. The 1988 Community budget settlement agreed
that the ERDF and the ESF should increase, with the level of spending in 1993 double that
of 1987, and with a concentration of spending in poorer regions. This was taken further in
1989 when Heads of State and Government, taking not only the ERDF and ESF but the
EAGGF (Guidance Section) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), established the
Community Support Framework (CSF) - namely the set of reorganised Structural Funds,
designed, as the name implies, to support development in areas whose own resources were
inadequate to reduce inequalities between regions within the EC.
The issue of inequalities between regions and countries within the EC has been the subject
of much theoretical debate - Krugman's annexe in the Padoa-Schioppa report remains the
clearest statement of the issues. There has been much less discussion of the numbers and
what lies behind them.
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