Throughout the history of European integration, economic wealth has increased to the benefit of citizens in the European Union (EU). However, inequalities in well-being persist within and between Europe’s regions, undermining the legitimacy of the EU in the eyes of citizens. This book investigates how the EU can use its regional funding programmes in ways that increase citizen well-being.
The book shows that while EU social investments improve labour market performance in rich regions, they exacerbate income inequality in poor regions. Based on this insight, the book presents a theory on the conditions under which EU funding will enhance well-being. Crucially, it argues the case for enhancing the inclusivity of EU growth, which yields the promise of a more legitimate and stronger union.