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European Spatial Planning Observation Network ESPON - Europäisches Forschungsnetzwerk für Raumentwicklung und territorialen Zusammenhalt


Success for Convergence Regions’ Economies

Thematic scope

It is commonly accepted that convergence regions within the EU do not only suffer from far below average GDP per capita, but are also forced to grow faster than other regions and to ensure that this growth is consistent. In order to tackle this reality, many EU-funded projects aim at stimulating these regions’ development and helping to strengthen the regional capacity in the fields of physical and human capital, innovation, knowledge-based society, adaptability to change, the environment and administrative effectiveness.
Against this backdrop, this project focuses on the specific challenges of development of convergence regions within the EU. Despite the fact that these regions have been awarded with extensive funds, not all have taken advantage to the same extent and therefore are still unable to improve their socio-economic performance and competitiveness. Therefore this project seeks to understand why some convergence regions are unable to improve economic performance and competitiveness. It will do so by systematically comparing relevant factors for economic growth and by analysing successful cohesion projects over the last 15 years in convergence regions with both high and low growth rates.


  • Campania Region (Lead Stakeholder), Italy
  • Podlaskie Voivodship Marshal’s Office, Poland
  • Fundación Comunidad Valenciana - Región Europea, Spain
  • Region of East Macedonia-Thrace, Greece

Lead partner

Interdepartmental Research Centre L.U.P.T. - Territorial Town Planning Laboratory - University of Naples “Federico II”

Publications and downloads

Final Report full version