Programmes like the “Widening participation and spreading excellence” are aimed at the so-called EU-153 countries as well as candidate countries and contribute to increased cooperation and decreasing regional inequalities within the EU. What is your assessment of these programmes and what further initiatives do you see the EU take to increase European integration? 3 Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.