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The cohesion policy: what budget allocation for 2014-2020?

The European Commission has announced the provisional allocation of the budget for the cohesion policy per States and objectives for the 2014-2020 programming period.

The cohesion policy aims to improve regional competitiveness of territories and promote growth and employment in the European Union. It is one of the major budget heading of the EU as it mobilizes about one third of the EU budget.

The cohesion policy covers several funding programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Fund for maritime affairs and fisheries.

The European Commission is currently working with Member States, which are the Managing authorities of the funds allocated by the Commission during the programming period. They must reach a partnership agreement defining investment priorities by country, but also the amounts allocated to each region.

These agreements must be concluded between European regions, Member States and the European Commission in the coming months. However the Commission has already announced what would be the distribution of the 2014-2020 budget per States but also per types of regions for the cohesion policy.

During the next programming period, the regions will be classified into three categories:
• The less developed regions, benefiting from 163 130 million euro
• The intermediate regions, benefiting from 31 550 million euro. It ‘is a new category of region grouping regions whose GDP per capita is between 75% and 90% of the Community average
• The more developed regions, benefiting from 19 336 million euro

According to the categories to which they belong, regions do not meet the same objectives. The less developed regions contribute to the Convergence objective, while the more developed regions contribute to the competitiveness and employment objective.

Regarding the cohesion fund for regions whose GDP per capita is less than 90% of the EU average, it will be provided with a total budget of 66 130 million euro.

The outermost and sparsely populated regions will receive a special allocation of 1 382 million euro.

Finally, the objective of territorial cooperation will be endowed with 8 919 million euro.

In terms of allocation per country, the countries that will have the biggest budgets are Poland (72 568 million euro), Italy (29 238 million euro) and Spain (25 028 million euro).

As the 2014-2020 budget has not yet been finally approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, the figures shown in this article are provided on an indicative basis and are likely to be subject to changes.


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