EU’s cohesion policy

EU’s cohesion policy provides a basis for prosperity and wellbeing

The aim of the cohesion policy of the EU is to narrow development gaps between regions and to provide a basis for prosperity and wellbeing for people in a vulnerable position. The overall aim is to ensure a better economic, social and regional balance in Europe.

The relatively weak status of a region may be the result of structural changes affecting local industries or more permanent factors concerning natural conditions and the population, such as an isolated geographical location or sparse population. By helping to minimise the impact of these negative factors, cohesion policy aims to boost economic growth in the regions concerned. This is increasingly by means of investments in human capital and by helping regions to build on their own strengths.

Supporting the headline targets of the EU

The EU is committed to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth that will create and maintain jobs. The aim of the cohesion policy is to ensure that all measures granted funding also support the achievement of the EU’s headline targets.

The headline targets laid out in the Europe 2020 strategy for the period 2010 - 2020 are related to the following areas:

  • employment
  • research and development
  • climate/energy
  • education and training
  • social inclusion and combating poverty

For more information about the targets and the instruments available, go to the website of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy

Further information: eliisa.hujala(at)