EU Governance and EU Cohesion Policy. Reflexive Adaptation or Inconsistent Coordination?
Author:
Stefan Telle
Title:
EU Governance and EU Cohesion Policy. Reflexive Adaptation or Inconsistent Coordination?
doi:
10.24306/TrAESOP.2017.01.004
Journal:
TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF EUROPEAN SCHOOLS OF PLANNING
Edition:
Volume 1, Issue 1 | June 2017 | 45-64

The paper discusses the co-evolution of the EU mode of governance and the objectives of European Union
cohesion policy. As EU integration proceeds, collective decision-making in an increasingly diverse political
arena has become a central concern for research on EU governance. The literature on experimentalist
governance suggests consensus-seeking deliberation and policy-experimentation as two key mechanisms to
reduce the trade-off between overall policy responsiveness and democratic legitimacy. However, this paper
argues that the inconsistencies which result from making cohesion policy deliver the Lisbon Agenda and EU
2020 objectives growth are a characteristic of meta-governance rather than of reflexive adaptation. These
findings emerge from an analysis of the cohesion policy programming periods since 1988 and the parallel
developments in European Union governance.