Regional Inequalities and Cohesion in the European Union

Faculty Instructor: 
Cycle / Level: 
Compulsory / Optional: 
Teaching Period: 
Course Content: 

The object of this course is to discuss the questions pertaining to the rationale and the substance of public intervention in the name of economic, social and territorial cohesion. Firstly, some alternative interpretations of the concept of cohesion are examined in the light of their ideological and political foundations. Next, the links between cohesion and economic integration are explored, the current socio-economic disparities in territory of the ΕU are outlined, and the division of labour between the EU and the member states for the promotion of cohesion is sketched. In addition, we assess the contribution of several public policies to the promotion of cohesion and we study the action of EU fiscal policies – and cohesion policy in particular. More precisely, we analyze the logic, principles and institutional framework of cohesion policy and attempt to assess its impact on the territorial organization, institutional development, and policies of EU states. The course concludes with a review of Greek experience in the field of cohesion policy.

Course modules
1. The conceptual framework
2. Theories of regional development – economic integration and regional development
3. Regional and territorial inequalities in the European Union
4. Regional and territorial inequalities in Greece
5. Objectives, dilemmas and tools of regional policy
6. The objective of economic, social and territorial cohesion
7. EU cohesion policy (historical evolution, principles, financial mains, Objectives)
8. EU cohesion policy and the development of Greek regions – a historical overview
9. Development and regional programming in Greece, 2014-2020
10. The prospects of cohesion policy, 2021-2027

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon the successful completion of the course, sstudents will:
- have a general understanding of the problems and dilemmas related to the territorrial dimension of development
- be able to follow and assess discussions about developmental strategies at European, national, regional and/ or local level
- be able to study and assess specific developmental programmes/ projects at European, national, regional and/ or local level


Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Bradley, J., Petrakos, G., Traistaru, J. (εds.) (2005), Integration, Growth, and Cohesion in an Enlarged European Union, New York: Springer.

Coccossis, H., Psycharis, Y. (eds.) (2008), Regional Analysis and Policy, Heidelberg: Springer.
Additional bibliography for study
Andreou, G. (2017), “The EU New Economic Governance and EU Cohesion Policy: More Effectiveness and Less Solidarity?”, paper presented at ECPR Annual Conference, September, Oslo, available at (accessed 10 June 2019).

European Commission (2014), “An introduction to EU cohesion policy 2014-2020”, June, , available at (accessed 10 June 2019).

European Commission (2017), “Seventh Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion”, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, available at (accessed 10 June 2019).