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 an area may be due to, for example, the restructuring process of local industries or more permanent natural conditions and factors related to the population. These include an isolated geographical location and sparse population. By helping to minimise the impact of these negative factors, cohesion policy aims to boost economic growth in the regions con-cerned. This is increasingly by means of investments in human capital and by helping regions to build on their own strengths.

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

  • Smarter Europe, through innovation, digitisation, economic transformation and support to small and medium-sized businesses.
  • a Greener, carbon free Europe, implementing the Paris Agreement and investing in energy transition, renewables and the fight against climate change.
  • a more Connected Europe, with strategic transport and digital networks.
  • a more Social Europe, delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights and supporting quality employment, education, skills and social inclusion. 
  • a Europe closer to citizens, by supporting locally-led development strategies and sustainable urban development across the EU.
  • The Just transition Fund (JTF) will mitigate the impacts on regions and people OF the transition to a climate neutral economy. The impacts are societal, economic and environmental.

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

Regulations have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union L 231, 30 June 2021


Regulation (EU) 2022/2039 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 October 2022 amending Regulations (EU) No 1303/2013 and (EU) 2021/1060 as regards additional flexibility to address the consequences of the military aggression of the Russian Federation FAST (Flexible Assistance for Territories) – CARE

Further information: eliisa.hujala(at)