Cohesion Policy 2021-2027

Strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union

  • Program Type

EU Cohesion Policy contributes to strengthening economic, social, and territorial cohesion in the European Union. It aims to correct imbalances between countries and regions. It delivers on the Union’s political priorities, especially the green and digital transition.

New Cohesion policy 2021-2027

For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission proposes to modernise Cohesion Policy, the EU's main investment policy and one of its most concrete expressions of solidarity.

Five main objectives will drive EU investments in 2021-2027:

Regional development investments will strongly focus on objectives 1 and 2. 65% to 85% of ERDF and Cohesion Fund resources will be allocated to these priorities, depending on Member States’ relative wealth.

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

2. a Greener, carbon free Europe, implementing the Paris Agreement and investing in energy transition, renewables and the fight against climate change

3. a more Connected Europe, with strategic transport and digital networks

4. a more Social Europe, delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights and supporting quality employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare

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

For more information:

What’s new for 2021-2027?

  • Support to EU priorities: 5 policy objectives focused on key objectives and thematic concentration on those most relevant for a competitive and future-proof Europe.
  • 1. a more competitive and smarter Europe
    2. a greener, low‑carbon transitioning towards a net zero carbon economy
    3. a more connected Europe by enhancing mobility
    4. a more social and inclusive Europe
    5. Europe closer to citizens by fostering the sustainable and integrated development of all types of territories

  • Climate targets: weighted climate and environmental contribution of investments, minimum targets for funds, climate adjustment mechanism

  • Greater empowerment of local, urban & territorial authorities in the management of the funds: dedicated policy objective implemented only through territorial and local development strategies

  • Simplification: The new cohesion policy introduces one set single of rules for the eight Funds and a significant reduction in the amount of secondary legislation. This entails notably:
  • - Lighter and more frequent reporting
    - Lighter controls for programmes: sharp reduction of management verifications, “single audit principle”, proportionate arrangements for audits
    - Faster delivery: extended possibility to use simplified cost options (SCOs) and financing not linked to costs schemes - End of Commission approval for major projects
    - No more designation of management and control bodies

  • Creating conditions for success: streamlined and clear enabling conditions to be respected throughout the whole programming period for reimbursement from the Union budget.

  • Flexible programming adjusted to new challenges and emerging needs: allocation of flexibility amount only after mid term review of socio-economic situation and possible new challenges

  • Reinforced visibility and communication provisions: requirements for beneficiaries and operations of strategic importance
  • The EU's main investment policy

    Cohesion Policy is the EU’s main investment 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. In order to reach these goals and address the diverse development needs in all EU regions, € 392 billion – almost a third of the total EU budget has been set aside for Cohesion Policy for 2021-2027.

    Available budget

    In 2021-2027 EU funds allocated to Cohesion Policy amount to EUR 392 billion. With the national co-financing, about half a trillion euro will be available to finance the programmes in the EU regions and countries.

    Cohesion Policy is delivered through specific funds:
    - The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to invest in the social and economic development of all EU regions and cities.
    - The Cohesion Fund (CF), to invest in environment and transport in the less prosperous EU countries.
    - The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), to support jobs and create a fair and socially inclusive society in EU countries.
    - The Just Transition Fund (JTF) to support the regions most affected by the transition towards climate neutrality.

    Funds from the ERDF and ESF+ are allocated in three categories of regions (less developed, more developed, in transition), some countries benefit from the Cohesion Fund, some regions with specific needs receive dedicated funding (outermost regions and sparsely populated), and all countries benefit from the Just Transition Fund.

    Future Phases

    Check out an overview of each competition phase below - complete rules for each phase will be released as the competition progresses.


    Let’s Get Started.

    To apply or join the program, please submit an application.