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The European Regional Development Fund and Island Regions

Nordregio's Lise Smed Olsen is co-author of a peer reviewed article about the European Regional Development Fund and island regions.

This paper presents results from a regional policy evaluation study conducted for the European Commission. The study examined the impact of the European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund on EU regions with 'specific geographical characteristics', namely islands, mountain regions and sparsely populated areas. These types of regions have been attracting increasing EU regional policy attention and their economic development is considered important in helping the EU to attain its important 'territorial cohesion' objective. The focus of this paper is on the island regions.

Evaluation of island regions in their own right has not been undertaken before by the EU. The study focuses on the 2000-06 and (still on-going) 2007-13 EU regional policy programs. The paper presents the methodology adopted by the study before turning to the main findings concerning the types of policy initiatives adopted in the island regions, and the appropriateness of the policies used for the economic situation faced by the islands. The islands encompassed by the study are all normal sub-national regions of EU member states. Islands with an unusual degree of administrative autonomy (e.g. the Outermost Regions) were excluded.

Armstrong, H.W., Giordano, B., Thanasis, K., Macleod, C., Olsen, L.S., Spilanis, I. (2012) The European Regional Development Fund and Island Regions: An Evaluation of the 2000-06 and 2007-13 Programs, Island Studies Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2012, pp. 177-198.