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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In recent reforms to the European Union regional and urban development policy, known as Cohesion Policy, the creating and sustaining local competitiveness is such a priority that the European Commission recently introduced a new policy approach to enhance the economic performance of regions of Europe—Smart Specialization Policy approach. This approach puts entrepreneurship and its role in driving innovation at the center of the regional economic development agenda. This chapter provides an explanation of the underlying thinking and ideas leading to the development of the Smart Specialization approach. The chapter then explains how this new policy approach is enhancing local competitiveness and implemented in the context of the European Union Cohesion Policy Reforms.

Keywords: smart specialization, Europe, European Union, regional economic development, cohesion, entrepreneurship

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