COHESIFY: The Impact of Cohesion Policy on EU Identification
COHESIFY investigates whether the performance of the EU’s flagship development policy, the Cohesion policy, influences how people see the EU. The project will select contrasting regions in ten countries to test the importance of the visibility in spending, the extent of local control over selecting priorities and beneficiaries, the significance of political affiliations and the impact of weak performance such as the low absorption rates found all too often in new member states. The project will compare the positions of insiders, such as program designers and administrators, with applicants and beneficiaries, such as local authorities, private companies and civic groups. These can then be compared with the views of the general public in the selected areas, whose views will be sought through analysis of national and local media reports, social media discussions, and complemented with representative surveys, interviews and focus groups.