Regional Variation in EU Identification in the Southern and Eastern Peripheries of Europe: Does Cohesion Policy Matter?

M. Dąbrowski*, D. Stead, B. Mashhoodi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


EU cohesion policy, supporting a variety of projects that support regional
economic development and contribute to betterment of quality of life, can be
considered as a tool that is contributing to the development of a ‘sense of community’ among the EU citizens and shaping the perceptions of the EU. By investing in projects across the European territory, the policy has a direct impact on people’s daily lives and their environment. Whether and how exactly EU cohesion policy actually affects what people think about the EU remains unclear, particularly at the regional level where the policy has the most direct and palpable effects. The chapter addresses this knowledge gap by exploring the regional variation of EU identification across the regions of southern and eastern Europe. This focus is particularly relevant given that these countries are the main beneficiaries of EU cohesion policy. At the same time, many of these countries are experiencing tumultuous political developments tilting the governmental discourse towards sceptical or even hostile positions towards European integration, which is not necessarily in line with citizens’ views on the EU.
The study uses Euro-barometer surveys from 2015 to explore how opinions about EU image and attachment to EU vary across southern and eastern Europe. The analysis identifies clusters of regions with similar patterns and then tries to relate these clusters to the possible role of cohesion policy in the emergence of these regional patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSuccesses & Failures in EU Cohesion Policy
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction to EU cohesion policy in Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe
EditorsI. Musiałkowska, P. Idczak, O. Potluka
PublisherDe Gruyter
ISBN (Electronic)9788395720451
ISBN (Print)9788395720444
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • economics
  • political
  • social sciences


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