The Rise of New Enforcement Instruments in the EU Structural and Investment Funds

IMPRS Colloquium

  • Date: May 10, 2021
  • Time: 15:00
  • Speaker: Annika Holz
  • Doctoral researcher, IMPRS-SPCE
 The Rise of New Enforcement Instruments in the EU Structural and Investment Funds
The 2013 Reform of EU Cohesion Policy establishes the systematic use of conditionalities as enforcement instruments by aligning the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) to the European Semester.

Since Cohesion policy involves intergovernmental bargaining on national net-balances, this project adresses the research question why the reform was possible, despite its joint-decision system. From an intergovernmental perspective, it can be explained as a package deal between creditor and debtor countries. However, the decision-making cannot be situated within the budgetary negotiations only. Instead, the redistributive dimension is negotiated in the budgetary policy-field and the regulative dimension is negotiated in the Cohesion policy-field. This project therefore focuses on the coordination of sectoral conflicts in EU decision-making. The sectoral interdependences between Cohesion policy and other policies are contested because other European policies often lack financial resources and judicial instruments to enforce their political strategies. To compensate for this, they try to tap on the funds and implementation structures of Cohesion policy and thereby challenge the autonomy of this policy field. But the Cohesion policy network can mobilize network resources to shield itself from negative externalities of the policy imperatives by external actors.

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