New Evidence on the Effects of EU Regional Policy

EU Cohesion Policy constitutes an important item in the EU budget. For the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, 392 billion € is reserved for the promotion of economic and social cohesion among the regions of the European Union. This article presents results from a pilot study that combines official data on projects co-funded by the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund (CF) in the programming period 2007-2013, with remote sensing data on night light emission and land cover to assess the effect of EU funding on economic growth at the municipal level, where regional GDP data are not available. Our approach can also be applied in other contexts, for example to study the impact of investment projects funded by NextGenerationEU.