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Research background: The European Union currently provides financial support to the Member States through various financial tools from European Structural and Investment Funds 2014–2020, and previously from the EU Structural Funds. In both terminologies, the funds represent the main instrument of EU Cohesion Policy to sustain territorial development, to increase competitiveness and to eliminate regional disparities. The overall impact of EU Funds depends on the structure of funding and absorption capacity of the country.
Purpose of the article: The efficiency of funding across the EU Member States is a fundamental issue for EU development as a whole. The Author considers deter-mining the efficiency of EU Funds as an issue of high importance, and therefore this paper provides a contribution to the debate on the role of EU Cohesion Policy in the Member States. The paper focuses on territorial effects of relevant EU Funds in programming period 2007–2013 in infrastructure through efficiency analysis.
Methods: Efficiency analysis is based on data at the country level, originating from ex-post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007–2013 and representing the input and output variables to analyse whether the goal of fostering growth in the target countries have been achieved with the funds provided, and whether or not more resources generated stronger growth effects in transport accessibility. The paper deals with comparative cross-country analysis, descriptive analysis of dataset and multiple-criteria approach of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in the form of output-oriented BCC VRS model of efficiency and output-oriented APM VRS subsequently model of super-efficiency.
Findings & Value added: The paper aims to test the factors of two inputs and five outputs, trying to elucidate the differences obtained by the Member States in effective use of the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund in the transport sector. The paper determines if the countries have been more efficient in increasing their levels of competitive advantages linked with transport. Preliminary results reveal that most countries with a lower amount of funding achieve higher efficiency, especially countries in a group of so-called “old EU Member States”, i.e. group EU15.
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