chapter  1
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From Conditionality to Europeanization in Central and Eastern Europe: Administrative Performance and Capacity in Cohesion Policy

ByJohn Bachtler, Carlos Mendez, Hildegard Oraže

In recent years, administrative capacity has been identified as an explanation of the vari-

able performance of European Union (EU) Cohesion policy. Studies have concluded that

the contribution of the policy to economic development is conditional on the capacity of

national and regional institutions to design robust strategies, allocate resources effectively

and administer EU funding efficiently (Ederveen et al., 2002, 2006; Cappelen et al., 2003;

Horvat, 2005; Bachtler & Gorzelak, 2007; Milio, 2007). These findings are echoed in

policy-maker criticisms of Cohesion policy (Barca, 2009; EC, 2009) and underpin

the European Commission’s proposals for improving the policy’s performance in the

2014-2020 period (EC, 2011).