Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2012, 60, 59-70
Published online 2013-08-07

Regional disparities and convergences in the European Union

Petr Blížkovský

Director for Economic and Regional Affairs, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, Rue de la Loi 148, 1048 Brussels, Belgium

This paper analyses the disparities and convergences between 97 regions of the European Union in the period 2000 to 2008. The methodology is based on the Gini coefficient, Disparity Range Coefficient, Average Disparity Range Coefficient, and σ- and β-convergence.
The study tests the hypothesis that the EU regions are converging economically. The subject is relevant as the welfare disparities among the EU regions and their possible convergence represents an economically and politically important issue for the EU. The EU is aiming at decreasing regional welfare disparities through the cohesion policy. The study analyses the convergence within the time span where there was substantial EU enlargement with a disparity effect on the whole EU.
The study concludes that the level of disparities among the EU regions is relatively low. The convergence analysis provided mixed results, depending on the methodology used. The tested hypothesis was not confirmed fully.


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