Regional Policy

Regional Policy is one of the most well-known EU policies. Its goals are to strengthen economic and social cohesion and to reduce the gap between the development levels of the various regions. During the period 2007-2013, the social cohesion policy will benefit from 35.7% of the total EU budget (around 347.41 billion EURO).

The Regional Policy is implemented through yearly allocations on three different funds.

  • The European Regional Development Fund aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. In short, the ERDF finances direct aid to invest in companies to create sustainable jobs, infrastructures linked to research and innovation, environment, energy and transport, financial instruments to support regional and local development and to foster cooperation between town and regions.
  • The European Social Fund is set out to improve employment and job opportunities in the European Union. It intervenes in the framework of the Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment objectives. It supports actions in areas such as lifelong learning schemes, designing and spreading innovative working organisations, access to employment to disfavoured groups or measures for strengthening human capital by reforming education systems and setting up a network of teaching establishments.

The European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund are known as the Structural Funds.

  • The Cohesion Fund is aimed at the Member States whose Gross National Income per inhabitant is less than 90% of the EU average. It serves to reduce their economic and social shortfall as well as to stabilize their economy. It focuses in trans-European transport networks, and environmental projects (waste and water treatments).