Keywords: JEL Classifications: R11 - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, and Changes; R58 - Regional Development Planning and Policy; Z13 - Economic Sociology.
The aim of the paper is to conduct an analysis of the degree of autonomy given to the Regions of Southern Italy in accordance to development programmers financed by European Cohesion Policy. The central issue concerns how Regions belonging to Southern Italy have adapted to EU Cohesion Policies and to the multilevel governance model they imply. The hypothesis advanced is that such Regions, during the periods of the latest budget cycles of structural funds (2000-2006 and 2007-2013), have suffered a reduction of institutional autonomy, and this has had a significant influence on the development strategies later adopted. The paper argues that Regional Policy carried out by EU has brought to a growing normative homogenization at the expense of territorial peculiarities and locally usable resources.