Regional policy in the European Union


Regional policy is aimed at all regions and cities in the European Union in order to promote job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development and the improvement of the quality of life for EU citizens.

Investments in research and innovation centers in San Ġwann, Galway and Cottbus; Modernization of the airports of Riga and Wroclaw; Improving urban mobility in Athens, Sofia and Cluj-Napaca; Preservation of Mont-Saint-Michel and protection of Pompeii; Expansion of broadband coverage in Lithuania; Support for small and medium-sized businesses in Utrecht and Paredes; Redevelopment of the urban centers of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Liège; Renewal of wastewater treatment in Trenčín and Slavonski Brod; Promoting the use of information technologies in the universities of Nicosia and Ljubljana – these are just a few examples of the thousands of projects co-financed by EU regional policy funds in regions across Europe.

What the EU is doing

Regional policy underlines European solidarity by promoting economic growth and increasing the quality of life through strategic investments. The bulk of the funding is focused on less developed European countries and regions to catch up and reduce the economic, social and territorial imbalances that persist in the EU.

Regional policy is managed jointly by the European Commission and the Member States and their regions, which select the projects to be co-financed by the EU under programs agreed in advance with the European Commission. EU funding is always topped up with national (private and / or public) funding.

Each program is the result of a collective decision-making process involving stakeholders at European, national, regional and local levels, as well as social partners and civil society. This partnership exists at all stages of the program, from conception to management and implementation to monitoring and evaluation.

Within the framework of the Interreg programs, regional policy pays particular attention to the needs and potential of the border regions.

In order to achieve these goals and take into account the different development needs in all EU regions, a quarter of the total EU budget (€ 259.7 billion) is earmarked for regional policy for the period 2014-2020. These resources will be used to fund strategic transport and communications infrastructure, support the transition to a greener economy, support small and medium-sized enterprises to become more innovative and competitive, create new and stable jobs, strengthen and modernize education systems and building a more inclusive society.