Multi-level Governance and Administrative Capacity in Europe's Regional Policy: A Case Study on the LEADER Initiative in the Mezzogiorno Region of Puglia

Giulia Sergi

Student thesis: Master thesis


Today's European Union counts 27 Member States and presents high levels of infra-state and between-regions disparities. Already in 1988, reigning Commission's President Jacques Delors proposed a new Reform of Regional Policy which had as its main objectives “economic and social cohesion” and the reduction of “disparities between the level of development of the various regions” (Article 158 of the EU Treaty). Also, the Reform supported a series of innovations in the delegation of power between higher and lower level authorities, thus building a new system of governance. This thesis encompasses the major changes in governance and administrative capacity introduced by the 1988 Reform. Also, it investigates these changes in a case study of a Southern Italian agency implementing the LEADER initiative. The LEADER initiative has a local rural character and represents only a small portion of the overall funds deployed for Regional Policy. Yet, it incorporates all the main features of the European policy's innovations of the last 20 years. However, It is hard to provide a long-term assessment of outcomes of Regional Policies and it is hard to define strict cause-effect relations between interventions and outputs. In the final part of this study, it will be shown that sub-level authorities have not yet adapted their administrative capacity in an effective way capable of generating sustainable economic development.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages83