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Memoria e Ricerca

Origins and Challenges of the EEC Regional Policy: from preliminary studies to the Single European Act (1957-1986)

di Laura Grazi
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 30 (2009), p. 47

The article describes the different stages which marked the elaboration of the EEC regional policy starting from the preliminary studies in the Sixties to the formal inclusion of this domain in the Single European Act (1986). The creation of the European Regional Development Fund (1975) and its reforms are crucial events in the definition of the EEC regional policy which highlight the slow and difficult passage from a system redistributing money among Member States to the launch of new form of supranational territorial solidarity. The ERDF, that was initially linked to the need to rearrange the financial benefits of membership/accession to the EEC for some members States (in particular, Italy and Great Britain), was later rearranged in order to allow more autonomous policy choices at the Community level (Community programmes). The Integrated Mediterranean Programmes, adopted in the Eighties, are the symbol of this new approach because they linked EEC regional measures to common problems arising from economic integration and increased the coordinating functions of the Commission.