The post-2013 reform of EU cohesion policy and the place-based narrative

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This article examines the role and use of discourse as a means of affecting EU cohesion policy reform. A discursive shift is traced to a place-based narrative, which sought to re-legitimize and reconnect the policy with its foundational principles during the post-2013 policy review. It is argued that the impact of the narrative on the Commission's proposals has been only partially effective owing to deep-rooted ideational, interest-driven and organizational resistance and tensions relating to the policy's objectives, governance and relationship with Europe 2020. Implications are drawn for ideational analysis in the EU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-659
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number5
Early online date12 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • cohesion policy
  • place-based narrative
  • territorial discourse


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