Does EU regional policy promote economic efficiency or is simply a matter of fairness?

Mark: 2:1

The growth of membership into the EU creates a challenge for policymakers. The growth in regional disparities among member states creates a decision for the policymaker, to promote fairness (equality) or efficiency? While policymakers have stated their ambition to bridge the gap in standards of living they must also acknowledge that some economies are stronger than others. Moreover, there are also concerns that the ‘free rider’ problem may occur within developing the infrastructure which may dampen incentives for investment. To what extent does government interference counteract the efficiency of a free market?