S5 - Eastern vs. Southern periphery in the EU: Differences, prospects and challenges.

Organisation: Helen CARAVELI

Key-words:  Core-periphery in the EU; eastern vs. southern EU periphery; New Economic Geography and regional resilience; EU Cohesion Policy.

The last enlargements of the EU shifted the geographical focus of the periphery from the south to the east. At the same time, the relocation of economic activity (industrial production and services) within the EU territory, from western-core countries to the eastern periphery, raised the competitiveness and economic significance of many areas in the new, vis-a-vis the old, periphery, leading to the emergence of a number of new centers in its metropolitan regions. The differences between old and new peripheral countries, also regarding their relationship with core countries, should be investigated and approached with the use of qualitative as well as quantitative techniques, where necessary, and an interdisciplinary theoretical framework encompassing various dimensions of regional economics and economic geography.  Critical questions within this context are: How has the current economic crisis (in its global and European dimensions) affected the position of the two peripheries and the core-periphery pattern in the EU? How has EU’s Cohesion Policy impacted on ‘regional resilience’ of various regions? What would be the implications of a possible further expansion towards EU’s ‘Eastern Neighbours’ for the above division?