RSA_logoLearning from implementation and evaluation of the EU Cohesion Policy – Lessons for a research-policy dialogue

Monday 13 June 2016, Institut d’Etudes Européennes, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue Roosevelt 39, Brussels (Spaak Room)



The Cohesion Policy has had a major influence on shaping regional policy of EU member states in terms of governance, practices and funding: the implementation of this policy has been (and still is) a major challenge for policymakers, mainly considering the European need to recover from the crisis. Since many years, many research and evaluation have been carried out to assess implementation and impacts of the Cohesion Policy using different methodologies and approaches. In the 2014-2020 programming period, evaluation is a corner-stone of the new result-orientation proposed by the EU Commission; however, many concerns are emerging about different local capacities in implementing the Cohesion Policy.

Against this background, the seminar brings together contributions presenting ‘lessons learnt’ from the implementation and evaluation of the Cohesion Policy. These ‘lessons’ have to be ‘policy-oriented’ to further improve policymaking across Europe. The workshop is conceived as an opportunity to present research-based contributions and discuss policy relevant lessons learnt with the policymakers. The aim is to contribute in bridging the gap between research and policy. The workshop outcome will be a ‘book of lessons learnt’ to contribute to the debate on the Cohesion Policy. Thus, after the workshop, selected articles will be collected in an eBook (with presentations and short articles) to be published in July 2016 and disseminated to the policymaking community. The eBook will be available for free on the RSA website

This workshop is promoted by the RSA Research Network on EU Cohesion Policy (comprising a range of partners from across Europe) and hosted by CEVIPOL and the Institut d’Etudes européennes of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), with the support and collaboration from the Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy (Urbanism, TU Delft).




Welcome & Registrations


Welcome speech

Ramona COMAN (Director of the IEE-ULB)
Auréliane BEAUCLEAIR (Regional Studies Association)


A Research-Policy Dialogue for the EU Cohesion Policy

Nicola Francesco DOTTI (UCL/VUB & RSA Ambassador for Belgium)


EU funds are fungible: potential and feasibility of change in Cohesion Policy post 2020

Supporting SMEs innovation and growth during the economic crisis: a theory-based impact evaluation of 2007- 2013 Cohesion Policy programmes
Massimo FLORIO (Università degli Studi di Milano),

The Achievements of Cohesion Policy: long-period evidence on the factors conditioning success and failure from 15 selected regions
Riccardo CRESCENZI (LSE), Ugo FRATESI (Politecnico di Milano), Vassilis MONASTIRIOTIS (LSE)

Building capacity for evaluation use: the knowledge brokers game
Karol OLEJNICZAK (Uniwersytet Warszawski & EGO),
Dominika WOJTOWICZ (Akademia Leona Kozminskiego)


Mathieu FICHTER (Commissioner Cretu’s Cabinet)

Petr ZAHRADNIK (European Economic and Social Committee)


Oto POTLUKA (Univ. Basel)


Coffee break


Impact evaluation of air quality: step towards impact evaluations on health and quality of life
Oto POTLUKA (Universität Basel) and Jan BRUHA (VŠE)

Critical reflections on the evaluation of European Territorial Cooperation Programmes (2007-2013)
Lidia GRECO (Università di Bari),
Benito GIORDANO (University of Liverpool)

The Regional Dimension of Subsidies, Innovation and Job Growth in European Firms
Frank CROWLEY (University College Cork)

Evaluation of capacities of multi-level governance networks: the GOCAPASS TOOL
Silke N. HAARICH (Spatial Foresight GmbH)


Andrea MAIRATE (EU Commission, DG- Regio)

Magdalena SAPALA (European Parliamentary Research Service)






Why does policy learning has limited impact on policy changes?
Marek W. KOZAK (Uniwersytet Warszawski)

EU Cohesion Policy: Growth or Cohesion? The case of gender mainstreaming
Leaza McSORLEY (Glasgow Caledonian University) and Jim CAMPBELL (Glasgow Caledonian University)

Result-oriented tools of governance as a break for stakeholder’s involvement. How to improve access to the European social fund at the subnational level?
Fanny SBARAGLIA (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Policy Labs: the next frontier of policy design and evaluation. Implications for the EU Cohesion Policy
Karol OLEJNICZAK (Uniwersytet Warszawski & EGO),
Kathryn NEWCOMER (George Washington University),

Sylwia BORKOWSKA (University of Strathclyde)



Monika VANA (MEP, Greens/EFA)


Marcin DABROWSKI (TUDelft)


Coffee break


Administrative Capacity and Cohesion policy: new methodological insights from Italy and Poland John BACHTLER (University of Strathclyde),
Alba SMERIGLIO (University of Strathclyde),

Pawel ŚLIWOWSKI (Uniwersytet Warszawski)

Who gets public support to innovation? An empirical study in the Portuguese Alentejo region
Anabela SANTOS (Université Libre de Bruxelles),
Michele CINCERA (Université Libre de Bruxelles),

Paulo NETO (Universitdade de Évora),
Maria Manuel SERRANO (Universidade de Évora)

Exploring the role of ERDF in regions with specific geographical features: islands, mountainous and sparsely populated areas
Benito GIORDANO (University of Liverpool)

In search of solutions: between qualitative and quantitative paradigm

Dominika WOJTOWICZ (Akademia Leona Kozminskiego),
Lukasz WIDLA-DOMARADZKI (Osrodek Przetwarzania Informacji)


Peter BERKOWITZ (EU Commission, DG- Regio)

Wolfgang PETZOLD (Committee of the Regions)


Nicola Francesco DOTTI (VUB/UCL)



John BACHTLER (University of Strathclyde)


End of the workshop



  •  Participation in the event is free of charge.
  •  The workshop will take place at the Institut d’Etudes européennes de l’Université libre de Bruxelles, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 39 – 1050 Brussels (Spaak Room)
  • Registration is mandatory using the following link
  • For any other inquiries please contact the local organizer of the workshop
    Dr. Nicola Francesco Dotti: REGIONAL STUDIES ASSOCIATION RESEARCH NETWORK ON EU COHESION POLICYThe Regional Studies Association (RSA) Research Network on EU Cohesion Policy aims at providing a forum for debating EU cohesion policy, its effectiveness, impacts, paradoxes, and its future. Through the organization of a number of highly successful international workshops since 2011 and of several special sessions at the RSA conferences, the Network has succeeded in bringing together academics investigating EU cohesion policy as well as practitioners working with this policy at the EU, national and regional levels. The workshops addressed the key issues structuring the debate on the assessment of the effectiveness and impacts of EU cohesion policy as well as its reforms. The Network has created numerous opportunities for inspiring exchanges of ideas, has helped to foster new research collaborations and has led to joint publications.

    Drawing on this experience, the Network continues promoting research on EU cohesion policy and fruitful dialogue between academics and practitioners with the aim to contribute to the on-going debates on the effects and the future of this policy.

    Click here to go to  Research Network on EU Cohesion Policy web page


    Nicola Francesco DOTTI (Cosmopolis, VUB), Fanny SBARAGLIA (CEVIPOL, ULB), Magdalena SAPALA (European Parliamentary Research Service), Oto POTLUKA (CEPS, University of Basel), Marcin DĄBROWSKI (TUDelft), Ida MUSIALKOWSKA (Poznan University of Economics and Business), Laura POLVERARI (University of Strathclyde), Eduardo Medeiros and Eduarda Costa (IGOT, University of Lisbon)


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