The purpose of the paper is to evaluate the extent to which the road transport projects implemented within the Greek National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2007–2013 contributed to the economic development of eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. These projects were included in the respective regional operational programs co-financed by the European Union (EU) and national funds. The paper discusses the EU’s regional and cohesion policy which aims at reducing regional inequalities and ensuring social, economic and territorial cohesion. In Greece, cohesion policy implementation for the 2007–2013 period was achieved through the NSRF, 2007–2013, whose training philosophy and the priorities that it set are the focus of the present study. The research area concerns the region of eastern Macedonia and Thrace and, more specifically, the 21 municipalities that it consists of. One of the main conclusions of the study is that public expenditure on the projects is directly associated with the area covered by the municipalities, as well as with the length of the road network improved. However, no correlation with the population of municipalities or the gross domestic product (GDP) of each regional unit has been observed. Our findings suggest that decisions for efficient allocation of infrastructure resources in a region by policy makers should not be based on single characteristics such as regional population density, but rather on more complex considerations, such as existing natural resources, geomorphological characteristics and location.
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- Operational program for eastern Macedonia and Thrace
- Regional development
- Regional inequalities
- Regional policy