Focusing on the situation of the European Development Fund (ERDF) in the Netherlands in the 2007-2014 period, this research looks at the accountability situation of Cohesion Policy. Using a theoretical framework on ‘good accountability’, consisting of four requirements and based on the academic literature on accountability (in general and in the EU), the research assesses the way ERDF in the Netherlands is implemented. It concludes that there is not a situation of good accountability. On the positive side, multiple accountability relations can be seen (requirement 1: accountability relations should be visible on European, national and regional level), however the necessary pressure from transparency, democracy and legal constraint is absent (requirement 2: these elements should lead to pressure within the system). With regard to the policy-process-chain, the research shows that the focus in the accountability relations is specifically on compliance and economy, whereas the other elements – efficiency and effectiveness – are seen only to a limited extent (requirement 3: all elements of the policy-process-chain should be visible). Finally, the fourth requirement focuses on a situation of accountability deficit or overload, which should be absent (requirement 4). The research however shows that there are tendencies in the policy area of an accountability overload. Taking the findings of these requirements together, the research concludes that a situation of ‘good accountability’ is absent. In the concluding chapter of the research, specific recommendations and considerations are made, for both improvements in Cohesion Policy in general and the specific situation of Cohesion Policy in the Netherlands.
|Award date||11 Feb 2016|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Feb 2016|