Europe’s profligacy

The European Union pools cash from member states, then hands it out to worthy projects. But are they worthy? Or just a waste of money? Simon Wilson investigates.

What are the EU’s structural funds?

‘Structural funds’ is European Union jargon for the huge investment funds designed to promote development in the EU’s poorer regions (eg, southern Italy, west Wales, most of eastern Europe) and to promote “balanced” development and “solidarity” across the EU.

The biggest funds are the European Social Fund (ESF) established in 1958, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) established in 1975, and the Cohesion Fund [...]

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