SURE: Success for Convergence Regions’ Economies

Thematic scope

It is commonly accepted that convergence regions within the EU do not only suffer from far below average GDP per capita, but are also forced to grow faster than other regions and to ensure that this growth is consistent. In order to tackle this reality, many EU-funded projects aim at stimulating these regions’ development and helping to strengthen the regional capacity in the fields of physical and human capital, innovation, knowledge-based society, adaptability to change, the environment and administrative effectiveness.
Against this backdrop, this project focuses on the specific challenges of development of convergence regions within the EU. Despite the fact that these regions have been awarded with extensive funds, not all have taken advantage to the same extent and therefore are still unable to improve their socio-economic performance and competitiveness. Therefore this project seeks to understand why some convergence regions are unable to improve economic performance and competitiveness. It will do so by systematically comparing relevant factors for economic growth and by analysing successful cohesion projects over the last 15 years in convergence regions with both high and low growth rates.

Please read more about the main areas of analysis and main results envisaged.


  • Campania Region (Lead Stakeholder)
  • Podlaskie Voivodship Marshal’s Office, Poland
  • Fundacion Comunidad Valenciana - Region Europea, Spain
  • Region of East Macedonia – Thrace, Greece

Lead partner

Interdepartmental Research Centre L.U.P.T. - Territorial Town Planning Laboratory - University of Naples “Federico II”

Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.
Budget : € 200.000,00

Project’s lifetime : March 2009 – June 2010

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 1 June 2009
Interim Report: 2 November 2009
Draft Final Report: 5 April 2010
Final Report: 16 August 2010


Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

More information

Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit:
Sara FERRARA, e-mail: [email protected]

Main areas of analysis

  • Factors and characteristics common for all convergence regions in the EU and those common for weak regions but different for catching up regions.
  • Verification of these common and different factors and characteristics by statistical and econometric methods.
  • Evaluation of the cause-effect relation of the economic performance and competitiveness capacity of lagging European regions and of the impact of EU co-funded projects on the overall economic performance of the regions.

Main results envisaged

  • Qualitative analysis understanding potentially relevant factors for success.
  • Descriptive analysis collecting and ordering the relevant data.
  • Empirical analysis identifying and understanding the statistically significant factors for success.
  • Case study analysis studying in-depth the evolution of the stakeholder convergence regions in one specific area and providing bench learning examples for stakeholders and other EU convergence regions.
  • Synthetic analysis of what a region can do to improve economic prosperity.


Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 6.48MB

Draft Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 3.82MB

Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 676KB

Inception Report

  • Acrobat Document | 318KB

Project Specification

  • Acrobat Document | 45KB