1Given the difficulties of financing manifested by Southern European countries and their incapability of generating sustainable economic growth, some Northern partners and institutions reported such situation as a waste of their financial contributions to the Union. Did the South create a ‘subvention culture’? Public aid to peripheral and convergence regions – justified by rebalancing goals – ended with a positive, but temporary and fictitious effect that dwindled out as aid reduced over time (De la Fuente 2005). More pessimistic scholars have suggested that aid from the European Union to underdeveloped regions had almost no effect on rebalancing structural gaps between Northern and Southern countries in terms of employment, innovation, industry fabric, and technology (González Rodríguez et al. 2000).