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COVID-19 impacts by types of regions

January 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic affects regional development in many ways and the impacts on local and regional development differ across places. This has already been discussed in a previous blog post (Opens in a new window)

A recent study to the European Parliament (Opens in a new window) raises the issue of impacts vary according to regions’ particular geographical characteristics and the regional classifications used in Cohesion Policy. Looking a little deeper into regional sensitivities to COVID-19 related restrictions, such as lockdowns or travel bans, offers some starting points for discussion.

Based on previous research, regional characteristics which affect the sensitivity to COVID-19 related restrictions, include the share of employment in risk sectors (e.g. accommodation, food service, arts, entertainment), the reliance on the tourism sector, the share of people with low education levels, the share of young people without occupation, the share of people at risk of poverty, the share of micro-enterprises and self-employed people, and lower quality of governance. A detailed rationale of this choice of sensitivities factors can be found in an earlier study to the European Committee of the Regions (Opens in a new window).

Working with very rough regional categories at NUTS 2 level, it appears that some sensitivities are more pronounced in some types of regions than in others. Certainly, this can only serve as a teaser for further analyses and debate. Given that NUTS 2 regions cover a wide range of geographical characteristics, and that impacts of the pandemic vary even between neighbourhoods (and not just regions), more nuanced reflections are needed.

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Topic Resilience & transition


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