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Deadline: 15 December 2020

Challenges in managing European funds

The European Union (EU) is experiencing an increasingly wide critical discussion from member states because of its supposed inability to face upcoming problems. Both some governments of the member states and many European citizens consider the EU as an institution no more effective in supporting and/or defending their economic and social interests through initiatives able to fix such issues as immigration, economic crises, sustainable development etc. Despite this, the EU has played and still plays a very important role in redistributing financial resources among member states to fund their relevant policies. Over half of EU funding (1 trillion euros from 2014 to 2020) is channelled through the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The purpose of these funds, managed by the European Commission (EC) and the public administrations at different governmental levels of EU members, is to invest in priority areas (such as research and innovation, sustainable management of natural resources, and small businesses) in order to reduce territorial disparities among member states.

This new PMM theme seeks to develop an international academic debate to make the use of the ESIF more by analysing the different practices implemented within the different member states. The theme will focus on planning, management and control practices of public policies financed through the ESIF. Papers are invited that are theoretically informed and based on empirical evidence on the strategies and mechanisms applied by the EC and public administrations of the different EU countries to manage the ESIF. Country-specific or comparative analyses between member states are welcome.

Contributions to the PMM theme could consider (but are not limited to) the following research questions:

  • Which strategies and mechanisms do European national governments, and other public administrations operating at local level in different member states, use the ESIF for pursuing the objectives established by the EC?
  • How do the EC and the different national public administrations responsible for the management of ESIF interact to use these resources more effectively?
  • How do different national public administrations co-ordinate and integrate policies financed by ESIF with policies sustained by other funds to have a greater impact from their action?
  • How are the impacts of policies financed by ESIF evaluated? How are these evaluations used to revise the political agenda and/or to modify resource allocation?
  • How are organizational relationships between different public administrations within European countries managed in terms of the ESIF?

These questions can be analyzed by referring to different research areas on which authors are, at present, focused, such as the governance of collaboration among different public administrations, the multilevel governance, the ‘horizontalization’ of public administrations’ organizational structures, the use of management control information by politicians and/or managers. The guest editors want this PMM theme to contribute towards a comprehensive picture of the different planning and control practices adopted in European countries and the development of different theoretical frameworks able to make more efficient and effective the use of ESIF at the level both of the EC and the different EU member states.


Submission Guidelines

If necessary, the guest editors will facilitate the establishment of linkages between scholars and practitioners to draw up their paper or article (to do this contact Pasquale Ruggiero after 1 October 2019).

PMM publishes main papers, new development articles and debate articles. See the journal’s homepage for details and for author instructions.

Interested researchers are invited to submit papers or articles for consideration to Pasquale Ruggiero, guest editor of this PMM theme, before 15 December 2020. The other guest editors are Antonio D. Barretta, Roger Levy and Gyorgy Hajnal.

All papers will be blind refereed by at least two reviewers: one will usually be a practitioner and the other an academic. Papers and articles submitted to PMM for review must not be under consideration by any other publication.

For questions, please contact the guest editor, Pasquale Ruggiero.


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