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Cohesion policy 2014 - 2020


Under the EU's 2014-2020 budget, Cohesion Policy will invest €325 billion in Europe's Member States, their regions and cities to deliver the EU-wide goals of growth and jobs, as well as tackling climate change, energy dependence and social exclusion. Taking into account the national contribution of member states, and the leverage effect of financial instruments, the overall impact is likely to be more than €500 billion. The reform of Cohesion Policy will ensure maximum impact for these investments, adapted to the individual needs of regions and cities. Key elements of the reform are:

1. Investing in all EU regions and adapting the level of support and the national contribution (co-financing rate) to their levels of development.

2. Targeting resources at key growth sectors: Investments under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will be concentrated on 4 key priorities: innovation and research, the digital agenda, support for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and the low-carbon economy, depending on the category of region (Less Developed: 50%, Transition: 60%, and More Developed: 80%).

3. Fixing clear, transparent, measurable aims and targets for accountability and results: Countries and regions will have to announce upfront what objectives they intend to achieve with the available resources and identify precisely how they will measure progress towards those goals. This will allow regular monitoring and debate on how financial resources are used.

4. Introducing conditions before funds can be channelled to ensure more effective investments. For example, "smart specialisation" strategies to identify particular strengths and potential, business-friendly reforms, transport strategies, measures to improve public procurement systems, compliance with environmental laws, etc.

5. Cutting red tape and simplifying the use of EU investments through a common set of rules for all European Structural and Investment Funds as well as simpler accounting rules, more targeted reporting demands and more use of digital technology (“e-cohesion”).

6. Reinforcing cooperation across borders and makingthe setting up of more cross-border projects easier. Also ensuring macro-regional strategies like the Danube and the Baltic Sea are supported by national and regional programmes.

For further information please don’t hesitate to contact Mag. Mitja Martin Miksche (+43 (1) 533 10 90-23, mitja.miksche@m27.eu).