Cohesion Policy Awareness Surveys

Qualitative-quantitative survey on the degree of knowledge of Cohesion Policy in Italy (Survey conducted by IZI, 2021)

In 2021, the Territorial Cohesion Agency carried out a qualitative-quantitative survey on the degree of knowledge of Cohesion Policy in Italy, following the mandate entrusted an expert company.

The quantitative phase resulted in the collection of 6,000 answers to the telephone survey questionnaire prepared by the Agency, while the qualitative phase included interviews with 15 privileged witnesses and 8 focus groups broken down by category of participants involved in various ways in Cohesion Policy in Italy.

The elaborations requested from the company included a comparative analysis between data collected at the beginning of the 2014-2020 programming period and those resulting from the commissioned survey.

The general picture outlined by collected data as a whole confirms stable knowledge of EU funds and its implementation over time, albeit it varies across territories. On the other hand, the level of understanding of the more technical and bureaucratic terminology continues to be unsatisfactory, somehow obscuring citizens’ comprehension of Cohesion Policy mission and making it an easier target for misinformation.

The purpose of the Agency’s survey goes beyond collection of national data to be compared with those made available at EU level, which in the past gave rise to doubts or controversial interpretations by communicators at the national and regional levels, due to their understandable lack of refinement. In particular, this work aims to offer a reliable general framework to elaborate correct communication of EU Funds in Italy functionally to drafting the communication strategies of 2021-2027 programmes.

For an in-depth study on the degree of knowledge of Cohesion Policy in Italy through the surveys carried out by the Territorial Cohesion Agency and by Eurobarometer for the European Commission, watch the speech delivered at the ForumPA on 14 June 2022.

Survey on the degree of knowledge of Cohesion Policy and interventions by the beneficiaries and the general public –”Governance and Technical Assistance –2007-2013 ERDF″ National Operational Programme (Survey conducted by DOXA, 2013)

In the framework of the 2007-2013 Governance and Technical Assistance NOP “PON Governance e Assistenza e Tecnica”), a survey project was carried out in 2013 on the degree of knowledge, among beneficiaries and the general public, of Cohesion Policy and its interventions (Beneficiary: Div. IX; Implementing party: Doxa S.p.A).

The survey – aimed at updating Programme Indicator No. 2 on the “degree of knowledge of EU interventions and Cohesion Policy on the part of beneficiaries and the general public” at the national level – was broken down into two phases.

  • A quantitative phase (February-March 2013), to measure the perception of EU and national Cohesion Policy and awareness reached on the role played by the European Union in implementating territorial development actions. This phase was conducted through 4,120 telephone interviews (CATI method) throughout the Country to a representative sample of the Italian population aged between 18 and 70, with an oversampling for the Convergence Objective regions;
  • A subsequent qualitative phase (September 2013) conducted through territorial focus groups – in the four Convergence Regions and in Rome – aimed at exploring, on the one hand, the information tools and channels, and on the other hand, the ways information and communication processes are activated in the individual territories. By comparing all the actors involved along the territorial communication chain, the focus groups enabled sharing strengths and critical elements that are functional to better targeting of communication actions and enable for better use of available channels.

The contents of the survey, presented here in full and by means of two reports – for each phase conducted – may be used under the terms of the CC BY-NC-ND Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivative Works licence ( by citing the source and the Funding Programme.

DOWNLOAD documents: Final Report, quantitative phase, qualitative phase (zip)