Cohesion Policy

Cohesion Policy

What is the Cohesion Policy?

EU Regional Policy is an investment policy, which means it finances projects throughout Europe which support job creation, competitiveness, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable development.

European Union

The European Union (EU) comprises 27 Member States forming a community of 271 regions and single market of 493 million citizens.

However, there are a lot of disparities among all EU regions not only on economic and social level but also regarding infrastructure, unemployment, innovation, technological development, environment, social inclusion and many more.

Aiming to reduce economic and social disparities

European Cohesion Policy is at the Centre of EU regions' development aiming to reduce economic and social disparities across EU member states.

Cohesion Policy targets all regions and cities in the European Union in order to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development and improve citizens’ quality of life.Cohesion Policy encourages regions and cities from different EU Member States to work together and learn from each other.

Potential beneficiaries include public bodies, enterprises (especially SMEs), universities, associations, NGOs and voluntary organisations.

Covid-19 Crisis

Cohesion Policy has responded quickly and effectively to the crisis with a vital degree of flexibility – redirecting funding where it is most needed and investing in key sectors for growth and job creation.

EU cohesion policy contributes to the fight against coronavirus with numerous projects all over Europe. Project beneficiaries have quickly reacted to the sanitary and socio-economic emergency situation using cohesion policy funds to adjust their resources and/or propose solutions.

Main Goals

What are the goals of the Cohesion Policy?

Cohesion Policy targets all regions and cities in the European Union in order to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development and improve citizens' quality of life.

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Smarter Europe

Α Smarter Europe, through innovation, digitisation, economic transformation and support to small and medium-sized businesses.

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Greener Europe

Α Greener, carbon free Europe, implementing the Paris Agreement.

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Connected Europe

Α more Connected Europe, with strategic transport and digital networks

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Social Europe

Α more Social Europe, supporting quality employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare

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Europe Closer to Citizens

Α Europe closer to citizens, by supporting locally-led development strategies and sustainable urban development across the EU.

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Main Achievements

What are the achievements of the Cohesion Policy?

So far, the EU's Cohesion Policy focused on several areas including all aspects of EU's citizens' life.

Creation of new Jobs and Growth
  • Over 600.000 new jobs were created the last decade.
Improve the Environment
  • Water supply systems have been modernised, benefiting 3.2 million citizens.
  • 9.400 projects improved the sustainability and attractiveness of towns and cities.
Support the shift towards a low carbon Economy
  • 4.5 Gigawatts additional renewable energy production.
Modernising Transport
  • 1.200 km of roads and 1.500 km of railway line have helped to establish an efficient transEuropean transport network (TEN-T).
Strengthening Research and Innovation
  • 61.000 research projects have been supported.
  • 5 million more EU citizens were covered by broadband connectivity.
  • 21.000 new long-term research jobs were created.
Education, Training and Lifelong Learning
  • Professional training of about 15 million people across Europe to improve their employability.
Supporting Enterprises
  • 198.000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) received direct investment aid.
  • 77.800 start-ups were supported.
  • 262.000 jobs were created in SMEs.
Access, quality and use of Communication Technologies
  • Improved access to broadband for more than 8,3 million households in EU.

My Europe Photo Competition!

Take part in our Competition and win valuable gifts!

Post a photo of a project funded through the Cohesion Policy using the #buildingabettereurope or tag the account @buildingabettereurope. Competition valid from January 28th until Juny 30th 2021.

Competition Terms and Conditions

Action co-funded by the European Union

The publication reflects the views only of the author. The commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.