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Addressing and diminishing barriers to the single market in the EU is a much welcome initiative. The initiatives to decrease bureaucracy, to step up efforts to comply with EU law, to evaluate the effects of new regulations on SMEs in impact assessments, and mutual recognition are important steps in promoting growth, free trade, and consumer rights.

The effectiveness of European structural and cohesion funds (SCF) has long been a contradictory topic, both for European institutions and researchers. This matter is particularly interesting for in-depth exploration, because of the lack of unambiguous evidence regarding the effect of these funds on beneficiary regions and countries. Four countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece) have remained the main beneficiaries of SCF since 1989[1]; however, data on GDP growth and labour markets in these countries is…