The European Union Cohesion Policy
A way to make Europe
Cohesion policy is the EU’s main investment policy. The Europe 2020 Strategy is the overarching framework. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is a European Union (EU) structural fund that aims to correct regional imbalances and strengthen economic, social, and territorial cohesion.
The ERDF funds seven-year investment programs, in which the European Commission as well as state and regional governments have a shared responsibility. ERDF-funded investments promote a smarter, greener, more connected, more social, and more citizen-friendly Europe. It is in this context that the Generalitat de Catalunya (Regional Government of Catalonia) designs and manages Catalonia’s ERDF operational programs, which must be framed within regional strategies for smart specialization (RIS3). In the case of Catalonia, this strategy is the Strategy for Smart Specialization in Catalonia (RIS3CAT).
The ERDF resources allocated to each of these priorities depend on the region’s category. There are three regional categories: more developed, transition, and less developed regions. Catalonia belongs to the category of the most developed regions. With ERDF funding, the European Union also promotes internal territorial cooperation between regions.
- Research, technological development and innovation.
- Information and communications technologies (ICT).
- Competitiveness for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
- Shift to a low-carbon economy.
- Adaptation to climate change and the prevention and management of risks.
- Environmental protection and resource efficiency.
- Sustainable transport and the elimination of bottlenecks in key network infrastructures.
- Employment and support for labour mobility.
- Social inclusion and the fight against poverty.
- Education, skills and continuous training.
- Creation of institutional capacity and efficiency in the public administration.