ERDF in regions with geographical specificities

This Study analyses the relevance and the effectiveness of ERDF and Cohesion Fund support to regions with specific geographical features - islands, mountainous and sparsely populated regions. The focus is on the 2000-06 and 2007-13 programming periods.

Four main tasks were carried out. Firstly, the literature review explored the ways in which the territories can be defined as well as the different challenges they face and respective policy approaches that have been developed. Secondly, an analysis of ERDF interventions in fifteen selected NUTS2 regions was carried out based on desk-based research drawing on programme data and documents for the two respective programming periods. Thirdly, to explore the role and effectiveness of ERDF at the local level, six NUTS3 case studies were carried out based on face-to-face (and some telephone) interviews with the main stakeholders in each of the selected regions. Lastly, Policy Conclusions were drawn based on the lessons learned from the previous tasks.

Nordregio has been a sub-contractor to ADE, Brussels, and has been involved in three steps of the project. First, a contribution to the literature review on Sparsely Populated Areas was provided by Nordregio. Second, desk research was carried out for the NUTS 2 regions: Itä-Suomi in Finland, Övre Norrland in Sweden, and Region Hovedstaden in Denmark. Finally, Nordregio, in cooperation with ADE, carried out case studies in the NUTS 3 regions Norrbotten in Sweden, and Bornholm in Denmark.