Within European Cohesion Policy, some regions manifest chronic problems with absorbing structural funds, probably due to inadequate administrative capacity. Despite the continuous assistance to improve capacity and the accumulation of learning and experience, poor performances still persist in some territories, rendering the initial explanation partial. By collecting (reports' analysis and field research), consolidating (grounded theory), and mapping (system dynamics) two Italian regions with contrasting absorption performance, this study investigates how regional authorities may be trapped in systemic decision-making structures that prioritize short-term outcomes perpetuating low absorption rates. Within a multilevel-governance context, we suggest that these decision-making traps stem from the discrepancy between European and local policy-makers' mental models; although European policies aim to promote timely absorption, sometimes they fail to acknowledge local authorities' actual agenda and may unintentionally prompt regions to overemphasize short term funds' expenditure instead of improving administrative capacity in the long term.

Decision-making traps behind low regional absorption of Cohesion Policy funds

Cunico G.
;
Aivazidou E.;Mollona E.
2022

Abstract

Within European Cohesion Policy, some regions manifest chronic problems with absorbing structural funds, probably due to inadequate administrative capacity. Despite the continuous assistance to improve capacity and the accumulation of learning and experience, poor performances still persist in some territories, rendering the initial explanation partial. By collecting (reports' analysis and field research), consolidating (grounded theory), and mapping (system dynamics) two Italian regions with contrasting absorption performance, this study investigates how regional authorities may be trapped in systemic decision-making structures that prioritize short-term outcomes perpetuating low absorption rates. Within a multilevel-governance context, we suggest that these decision-making traps stem from the discrepancy between European and local policy-makers' mental models; although European policies aim to promote timely absorption, sometimes they fail to acknowledge local authorities' actual agenda and may unintentionally prompt regions to overemphasize short term funds' expenditure instead of improving administrative capacity in the long term.
Cunico G.; Aivazidou E.; Mollona E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/905426
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