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Specific regions or sectors

The responsible lead editor for this section is Thomas Bournaris

Quotation: Bournaris, T. 2013: Introduction to the economic Impact Area Specific Regions or Sectors. Available at:


This area is concerned with the impacts of policy on specific sectors and specific regions. These two aspects may be closely related whenever the economy of a certain region relies heavily on a particular sector (coastal regions largely dependent on fisheries activities; areas living of the coal sector and of the induced benefits; regions heavily relying on tourism or agriculture).
Impacts on specific sectors of the economy are well-known in policymaking; climate change policy, with its implications for the energy sector and for energy intensive sectors, is but one example. Such concerns are related not only with matters of principle (fairness of treatment and fair sharing of the burden entailed by policy) but also with such fundamental issues as international competitiveness: European business and industry face a constant challenge to remain competitive, to keep up with technology, and with the pace of growth in competing countries. Meeting the challenge successfully is essential for sustainable growth and for our greater prosperity.
Although the European Union is one of the richest parts of the world, there are striking internal disparities of income and opportunity between its regions. The entry of new member states in 2004 and 2007, whose incomes are well below the EU average, has widened these gaps. Regional policy transfers resources from affluent to poorer regions. It is both an instrument of financial solidarity and a powerful force for economic integration.

This impact area is further specified by the taxonomy terms: Sector-Specific Impacts, Region-Specific Impacts, Distributional Impacts on Sectors or Regions.

Relevant Policies

The European Union's regional policy seeks to reduce structural disparities between EU regions, foster balanced development throughout the EU and promote real equal opportunities for all. Based on the concepts of solidarity and economic and social cohesion, it achieves this in practical terms by means of a variety of financing operations, principally throgh the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. For the period 2007-2013, the European Union's regional policy is the EU's second largest budget item.
 “Europe 2020” - a strategy to enhance the competitiveness of the EU and to create more growth and jobs.

Legal Basis for the Commission to Act

Financial instruments and initiatives to address economics and social imbalances at Community level did exist since the beginning of the European integration, but only in 1986 legal foundations introduced by the Single European Act paved the way for an integrated cohesion policy. The Single European Act laid the basis for a genuine cohesion policy designed to offset the burden of the single market for the less-favoured regions of the Community. The policy was finally incorporated into the EC Treaty itselt (Articles 158 to 162) with the Maastricht Treaty (1992).

Web Resources

DG Regional Policy:
Activities of the EU: Regional Policy:


Please link to relevant Directorate General Contact Details.

Related Terms

Sector-Specific Impacts

Region-Specific Impacts

Distributional Impacts on Sectors or Regions

Publications and applications

Titel Type of practice Updated date
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development Impact Assessment 2014-02-11 19:52
European Research for Impact Assessment Tools Publication 2014-04-17 14:41
IA Report: Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-05 10:14
IA Report: Communication on Winning the Battle against Global Climate Change Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-05 11:40
IA Report: Determining transitional Union-wide rules for the harmonised free allocation of emission allowances (2011) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-26 19:32
IA Report: Opening of negotiations on a free trade agreement between the European Union and Japan (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-26 17:56
IA Report: Proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2003/96/EC restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-03 21:54
IA Report: Proposal for a Directive on reporting formalities for ships arriving in or departing from ports of Member States of the Community and repealing Directive 2002/6/EC Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-02 15:36
Impact Assessment of Land Use Policies Publication 2014-04-09 21:11
Integrated assessment of the determinants of the maize yield gap in Sub-Saharan Africa: towards farm innovation and enabling policies Project 2014-11-19 16:48
Multicriteria analysis for grouping and ranking European Union rural areas based on social sustainability indicators Publication 2014-12-01 18:25
SUSMETRO Project 2013-10-21 11:16
The Policy-Relevancy of Impact Assessment Tools: Evaluating Nine Years of European Research Funding Publication 2014-07-09 16:32

Content for this term

Title Type Updated date
Bioeconomic mussel fisheries management model Model 2014-03-27 14:23
Bournaris, Thomas Expert 2014-11-11 20:36
E3ME Model 2014-04-23 15:36
Farm System Simulator(Part of SEAMLESS) Model 2013-11-26 08:29
Jacob, Klaus Expert 2013-03-22 15:39
Moulogianni, Chistina Expert 2014-12-01 18:44
Nõmmann, Tea Expert 2014-03-05 09:47
Peterson, Kaja Expert 2014-03-05 09:38
Specific regions or sectors Impact Area 2013-12-03 14:55
WITCH Model 2013-11-26 08:29