Evolution of the European Union Cohesion Policy Towards Border Regions
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The EU cohesion policy is directed primarily at supporting the regions which are peripheral in the socioeconomic sense. Since 1991 – when INTERREG programme was established on the basis of the European Regional Development Fund – the cohesion policy has also included support for border areas and regional networks, mainly through development of cross-border cooperation. In the current financial perspective of the EU, the cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation is pursued as part of Objective 3 of the cohesion policy, that is the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC). Furthermore, cross-border cooperation with the partner states beyond the external EU border is supported from the funds of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. Similar solutions have been adopted for the next programming period 2014-2020 and the European Territorial Cooperation has acquired the status of one of the two objectives of the cohesion policy. The aim of this paper is to analyse the evolution of the EU cohesion policy towards border regions in the years 1990-2013 and to evaluate it on the basis of the Polish experience. The paper also presents the preparations of the Lublin Province (as an example of a border region) for the new perspective of the cohesion policy 2014-2020. A special element of these preparations is the Strategy of the Cross-Border Cooperation among Lublin Province, Lviv Oblast, Volyn Oblast and Brest Oblast for 2014-2020, which is the first document of such kind in the EU, compiled for the cross-border area located along the external EU border.
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