PERCEIVE Work Package 1

Framework for comparative analysis: differences, implementation, perceptions and data gathering

How is Cohesion Policy practiced and understood in European regions?

European Cohesion Policy aims at delivering equal levels of economic and social development all over the European Union.

But does Cohesion Policy exert the same impact on European Regions? Lets take a look at the available data.

We’ll also produce our own data: how do European citizens perceive Cohesion Policy?

Let’s build a survey! Romania, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom, Spain, Austria and Sweden.


This Work Package has a twofold objective: to introduce the main concepts of the PERCEIVE projects and to build the framework for the next stages of research activities. The Work Package consists of three tasks, whose aims are to shed light on the interactions between the following constructs:

  • the heterogeneity of the European regions, understood as territorial units with their own endowments of socio-economic, cultural and institutional traits targeted by Cohesion Policy;
  • the framework of Cohesion Policy and its actual implementation experiences, that differ from country to country and from region to region;
  • the contribution of Cohesion Policy to the emergence of a European identity and to the citizens’ identification with the European integration project.

Due to the practical impossibility of covering all the 276 European NUTS2 regions, the Work Package envisages a comparative analysis on a sample of 9 case-study regions. The selection criteria were defined with the aim to ensure a proper geographical coverage and to grasp the heterogeneity of the different development (rich/poor, growing/stagnating, etc.), socio-cultural (Euroskeptic/enthusiast, etc.) and institutional (federalist/unitary, etc.) realities of the European Union as a whole. The regions selected are Sud-Est (Romania), Dolnośląskie and Warmińsko-Mazurskie (Poland), Emilia-Romagna and Calabria (Italy), Essex (United Kingdom), Extremadura (Spain), Burgenland (Austria), and Norra Mellansverige (Sweden).

The methodology involves a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods: SWOT analysis, focus groups, data analysis, and an extensive survey targeting approx. 25,000 European citizens are run in order to achieve the WP objectives. By triangulating data on the region’s specificities, Cohesion Policy programmes and citizens’ appreciation we expect to deepen our understanding on how institutional settings and territorial features impact on the practical arrangements and scopes of Cohesion Policy and its actual contribution to the European project.


  • M2: Framework for comparative analysis, month 5;
  • M3: Focus groups, month 9;
  • M4: Survey, month 12.

WP1 Deliverables

D 1.1 · WP1

May, 2017

Report on regional case-studies


D 1.2 · WP1

November, 2017

Dataset built from the survey at citizen level for the case-studies regions and report ...


WP1 Updates

Wokshop with LMAs in Bologna, Italy

by University of Bologna, BAM! Strategie Culturali | 19/04/2018

Deliverables 1.1, 4.2 and 3.1 are online!

by BAM! Strategie Culturali | 27/07/2017

Work package 1 delivered its report on the case-study regions, work package 4 its report on the synergies between EU Cohesion Policy and rural development policies and work package 3 a qualitative report on the impact and effectiveness of communication strategies from the semi structured interviews with cohesion policy practitioners. 

Last WP1 journal article

PERCEIVE at the ERSA Congress in Cork: can regional policies enhance European identity?

27/08/2018 | University of Bologna | Events, Research | WP2, WP1, WP4

PERCEIVE at the ERSA Congress in Cork: can regional policies enhance European identity?

During the Special Session “Cohesion Policy and European Identity” of the ERSA Conference in Cork, PERCEIVE’s team will present together with the Cohesify Project’s researchers the results achieved so far. Can regional policies enhance European Identity? This and other related topics will be addressed! Read further to find out more.