Ex Post Evaluation of the ERDF in Objectives 1 & 2 (2000-2006)

Work package 4: Structural Change and Globalisation

The fourth work package assesses the performance of ERDF interventions in Objective 1 and 2 programmes 2000-2006 when supporting Structural Change and enabling adaptation to Globalisation change across the European Union, in terms of the impacts - both expected and unexpected - and the utility and sustainability of Structural Funds interventions. The evaluation focuses on programmes financed totally or in their majority by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The territorial level of analysis is the NUTS 2 level. Following a comprehensive literature review and a throughout statistical analysis of all Objective 2 regions, this evaluation carries out 12 in-depth case studies of ‘representative’ Objective 2 regions.

Main lessons learned:

  • Clear strategic policy response and early awareness of policy makers enabled regions to promptly and effectively react to structural change.
  • Objective 2 interventions aligned with a broader regional strategy were more effective.
  • The commitment and vision of the regional planners, rather than a specific regional specialisation or structural pattern of growth, determines policy responses and its effectiveness.
  • There is a need for differentiated strategies to achieve innovation-driven structural change.
  • ERDF had a positive effect on policy learning about tackling structural change and globalisation.

Evaluation Recommendations

  • Active acknowledgment and strategic anticipation of structural change should be put in place by regional policy makers.
  • In order to overcome the limited scale of funding, ERDF strategies should be aligned with the wider regional policy objectives and embedded in a longer term policy effort.
  • The Commission is strongly encouraged to strengthen its role of partner in strategic planning, and take a more active role in terms of policy thinking with the regional authorities.


  • Executive summary pdf deenfr
  • Final report pdf en
  • Case studies:
    • North West England pdf en
    • Basque Country pdf en
    • Bayern pdf en
    • Brittany pdf en
    • North East England pdf en
    • North Netherlands pdf en
    • North Rhine Westphalia pdf en
    • Rhone Alpes pdf en
    • Southern Finland pdf en
    • Styria pdf en
    • Tuscany pdf en
  • First Intermediate Report pdf en Literature review and selection of regions for case studies
  • Inception report pdf en and annexes pdf en
  • Terms of Reference pdf en


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