Since 2009 the term “economic crisis” seems to have cemented its place in our daily vocabulary and tackling the deepest recession of the post-WWII era came to the forefront of the policy agendas of all EU-Member states. Six years later and the European Union is being challenged by regional disparities. The economic future is uncertain, and more so for the newer Member States, with the good news being that the EU has multiple mechanisms in place to facilitate growth and economic development (ERDF, ESF, The Cohesion Fund, EUSF and IPA). To paraphrase the famous words of an even more famous person, let’s not ask what the EU can do for us, but remember the key role the national and regional governments need to play in promoting structural reforms, exercising fiscal responsibility, boosting job-creating investments and economic growth. All Member States, in particular those with more limited fiscal space, must ensure efficient use of resources, prioritize investment- and growthrelated expenditure in their budgets and best utilise the EU mechanisms at their disposal. Regional policies that are already bearing fruit need to keep their course.

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