Since the EU's eastern enlargement in 2004 and 2007, clear regional economic disparities have become apparent within the European Union (EU). These were exacerbated by the economic crisis in 2008. Through its funding policy, the EU is trying to compensate for these differences in prosperity and strengthen the European cohesion. As a result, the support strategies for the 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 programming periods have been refocused on cohesion and convergence and sustainable, inclusive and smart growth respectively.
This interdisciplinary research project therefore explores the question of the small-scale effects of EU funding policy and the effectiveness of various funding instruments. Quantitative and qualitative analytical methods from the fields of remote sensing, regional economics and regional planning are applied to gain insights into economic development and disparities within regions. With the use of satellite data, the physical effects of regional and funding policy measures can be illustrated and thus changes affecting the region can be documented and quantified. In addition, an EU funding database will be created for the funding periods 2007-2013 and 2014-2020. Within the framework of a qualitative evaluation, detailed statements on the impact of EU funding policy on the infrastructural development of selected regions can be made.
By linking satellite data with data from the funding database and qualitative evaluation, an important contribution is made to the current debate on convergence and disparities in Europe. With regard to regional policy measures in the German context, it is possible to evaluate the small-scale effects of structural support under the joint Federal Government/Länder scheme for improving regional economic structures.