EU Structural and Investment Funds

EU Structural and investment Funds are the major regional policy instruments and have the objective of reducing regional disparities across the European Union. They include the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) Programmes. The ETC Programmes are commonly known as INTERREG.

Currently the ERDF supports the ‘Jobs and Growth’ agenda through funding job creation, competitiveness , economic growth and sustainable development projects. The ESF funds training and employment measures and the ETC Programmes fund areas such as innovation, low carbon technology development, and a sustainable environment through cross-border and transnational projects

During the last round of Budget and Structural Funds negotiations, some of the richer countries said that they did not want to participate in the mainstream Structural Funds.  It will be interesting to see if these arguments re-emerge and to see if further financial assistance will be given to areas of high unemployment such as Greece.

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