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. CPB Working Paper , 1–103. Ederveen, S. — Groot, H. de — Nahuis, R. (2006): Fertile soil for structural funds? A panel data analysis of the conditional effectiveness of European Cohesion Policy. KYLOS , 59

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The present study revolves around the question of the appropriateness of “the White Elephant syndrome” to characterise the nature of the planned trans-Baltic railway project Rail Baltica (RB) in terms of its initial financing, long-term profitability and symbolic importance. Whereas, in general, the expected outcome of the project goes well together with the EU Cohesion Policy goals, in its concrete application RB could serve as an example of the tendency of politicians and public servants to institutionally lock themselves into certain irrational choices about publicly financed mega-projects. This is what “the White Elephant syndrome” metaphor illustrates. Methodologically, this paper aims to analyse whether RB meets the common criteria of “the White Elephant syndrome” of public investments or if it can be seen as a sustainable and profitable long-term project after the initial investment.

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Allard, C. (2008): Macroeconomic Effects of EU Transfers in New Member States . IMF, Poland Selected Issues Paper. Bradley, J. (2008): EU Cohesion Policy: the debate on Structural Funds

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Bachtler, J. — Gorzelak, G. (2007): Reforming EU Cohesion Policy. A reappraisal of the performance of the Structural Funds. Policy Studies 28(4): 309–326. Gorzelak G

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Since the reform of the Structural Funds in 1988 resulting from the Single European Act, Spain has been a net beneficiary of structural resources from the EU budget (which includes the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund). This situation has changed in the period 2007–2013, when significantly less EU funds will be allocated to Spain. The country will need to adapt to a changeover from being a net beneficiary of EU funds to becoming a net contributor.

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Absztrakt:

A tanulmány az uniós források felhasználásának eredményességét vizsgálja a magyar közoktatás terén, és annak okát kutatja, hogy mi állhat a kudarcok mögött. A külföldi és hazai fejlesztéspolitikai szakirodalom alapján sorra veszi a lehetséges okokat, valamint a tipikus hibákat. A tanulmány végeredményben arra a következtetésre jut, hogy nem pusztán a nem megfelelő célkitűzésekkel, eszközök kiválasztásával, az implementáció nehézségeivel és az értékelés elmaradásával magyarázhatjuk az eredmények elmaradását. Eleve a kiindulás tűnik elhibázottnak, hiszen a közoktatás, ami egy diszkrecionális döntésekkel teli, tranzakcióintenzív terület, eredendően nem illik bele a nagy volumenű, rutinizált adminisztratív úton ellenőrzött projektek logikájába. Az Európai Unió fejlesztéspolitikáját újra kellene gombolni.

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With eight former socialist economies joining the European Union, the European Economic Area underwent substantial change. Integration co-operation, mostly through the usage of structural funds requests partners on lower level of development to catch-up (converge) to the average level of development of the Community. Williamson (1965) had shown first that indeed, there is a convergence measured on national level, the price for which, however, is a growing differentiation among the regions. Suggested way of achieving cohesion is the catching-up of less developed regions and nations. When productivity or difference in GDP per capita is taken as the most important indicator for cohesion then catching-up could be achieved by a higher than average European Union GDP per capita growth in the catching-up economies. Hence, economic growth is the key to cohesion. Trade-off theories suggest that the most important trend in international economic co-operation is the hypothetical b (beta) convergence. Convergence depends on economic policy, created competitive advantages. These factors request thorough analysis of various aspects of competitiveness: setting proper ratio between overall and regional development, achieving high-level efficiency in state administration, supporting research and development, enhancing education on all levels, and last but not least, putting in place a well-functioning economic regulation and industrial policy. Concrete challenges for the Hungarian institutional system, regulation and international cooperation are also dealt with related to the above.

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DTI (2005): Thematic Evaluation of the Structural Funds’ Contributions to the Lisbon Strategy; Synthesis Report . Copenhagen: Danish Technological Institute. Thematic Evaluation of the

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