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 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 shall contribute to ‘enabling regions and people to address the social, economic and environmental impacts of the transition towards a climate-neutral economy’.

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

Further information: eliisa.hujala(at)