A study on the effectiveness of the EU cohesion policy carried out by Bruegel, an independent think thank focusing on economic policy research, reveals that cooperation among partners from different countries within EU-funded Interreg projects results in higher economic growth than similar projects carried out at national level, among partners from the same country.
The study uses various academic sources as reference and statistical platforms for data on economic growth and EU fund allocation, including the joint data portal of Interreg programmes, keep.eu.
One of the clearest results emerging from the study, in their own words, is the positive association between the presence of inter-regional projects and the region’s economic growth. Despite representing a small percentage in overall European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) financing, regions with a higher number of cooperation projects, and regions with more funds allocated to such projects, tend to perform significantly better than their growth determinants would predict. The same result is not found for the budget allocated under the ERDF as a whole, pointing to different characteristics specific to these projects.
Read the full study, its methodology, data analysis and conclusions here.