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Regional classification: the case of the Visegrad Four

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Keywords
  • Classification
  • Cluster
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Regional Disparities
  • Visegrad Four
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Abstract

Since the biggest enlargement of the European Union in 2004, the EU cohesion policy has made a significant contribution to spreading growth and prosperity across the European territory. Despite this, the cohesion policy is still confronted with persistent economic, social and territorial disparities among countries and regions and weakened economic growth and competitiveness. The aim of the paper is to evaluate regional disparities in the case of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries in the year 2010 and to propose an alternative method of regional classification that could be helpful for the efficient allocation of European funds. In the paper, an analysis of the disparities in the V4 NUTS 2 regions is undertaken on the basis of cluster analysis. The three determined clusters confirm that NUTS 2 regions with capital cities (Praha, Bratislavský kraj, Mazowieckie and Közép-Magyarország) still occupy the dominant positions in comparison with other regions in the V4. Significant disparities between clusters are visible, especially regarding the economic and innovative performance and territorial cohesion.

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