NEWS

September 2015

DID YOU KNOW?

The Regional Policy of the European Union, also referred as Cohesion Policy, is a policy with the stated aim of improving the economic well-being of regions in the EU and also to avoid regional disparities.

EDC News: Quality of EU Regional Research Funding

Since the Rome Treaty of 1957, a main task of the EU has been to promote a ‘harmonious development of economic activities’. This requires a continual coordinated European solution to regional problems and the correction of regional imbalances, which has led to the EU Regional Policy, also known as the “Cohesion Policy”.

The EU regional policy is, on the whole, an investment policy to support job creation, competitiveness, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable development through strategic investment. It is also, an active form of solidarity which focuses support on the less developed regions. From the EU budget approximately €351.8 bn has been assigned for regional and cohesion policy (2014-2020) funding. The money is allocated differently between regions that are deemed to be "more developed" (with GDP per capita over 90% of the EU average), "transition" (between 75% and 90%), and "less developed" (less than 75%), and additional funds are set aside for member states with GNI per capita under 90 percent of the EU average in the Cohesion Fund.

Due to the large amount of money being allocated to the Regional Policy the Commission needs to ensure that taxpayer money is spent efficiently. In additional to the tools the Commission has developed to improve how funds are invested and managed (including Integrity Packs, exchanges of regional experts, action plan on public procurement), it has now launched a new initiative the "Seal of Excellence" scheme. The ‘Seal’ will identify high quality project proposals which merit funding from alternative sources public or private, national, regional, European or international.

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