The Puzzle of Absorption Problems in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Christian Hagemann
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


The second chapter introduces the process of cohesion policy implementation and links its different phases to the steps of formal implementation, application, and enforcement of EU rules typically applied in EU policy studies. It then summarizes new member states’ implementation performance during the 2007–2013 financing period and discusses the variation of absorption problems. There is no obvious explanation for the observed patterns: A lack of EU enforcement after accession is an unlikely explanation for absorption problems as the use of EU funds is strongly in the interest of the new member states. Also, looking only at poor absorption capacities in the region is not fully convincing as there are instances of high absorption in low capacity contexts and as other studies found new member states relatively well prepared in the preceding 2004–2006 financing period.


Cohesion policy implementation Formal implementation Application Enforcement Absorption problems EU enforcement Absorption capacities 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Hagemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical University MunichMunichGermany

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