(29 May 2018) – For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission proposes a budget of €373 billion (-4% in constant prices) for the future Cohesion Policy. It will keep 3 categories of regions and give more funds to southern states and less to the central European Visegrad Four countries.
The bulk of European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund investments will go towards innovation, support to small businesses, digital technologies and industrial modernisation. It will also go to the shift towards a low-carbon, circular economy and the fight against climate change, delivering on the Paris Agreement.
Regions still lagging behind in terms of growth or income – mostly located in the South and East of Europe – will keep benefiting from important EU support. Cohesion Policy will continue investing in all regions, as many of them across Europe – including in richer Member States – struggle to achieve industrial transition, fight unemployment and hold their own in a globalised economy.
Cohesion Policy keeps 3 categories of regions: less-developed, transition and more developed regions. To reduce disparities and help low-income and low-growth regions catch up, GDP per capita remains the predominant criterion for allocating funds. In addition, new criteria aim at better reflecting the reality on the ground – youth unemployment, low education level, climate change and the reception and integration of migrants.
Local, urban and territorial authorities will be more involved in the management of EU funds, while increased co-financing rates will improve ownership of EU-funded projects in regions and cities.