The functional gap: a reflection on the limits to institutional capital


Functional regions have earned a growing relevance in EU documents and proposed regulations for the EU financial framework for 2014-2020. In fact, the European Commission proposals for the five Funds of the Common Strategic Framework, as well as several other strategic documents, let believe that the concept of functional region may be an important tool in the design and implementation of some instruments of EU cohesion, rural development and even specific sectoral policies in the 2014- 2020 financial programming period. The use of functional regions, as a policy tool, brings along a large set of challenges that test the limits of the institutional capital of the territories where they will be implemented. In this paper we will expand on the institutional constraints and capacity gaps that may
emerge in the face of the use of functional regions as a policy concept and forward a set of preemptive guidelines towards an institutional environment that will better accommodate partnershipbased functional policies.