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The European Union's regional policy seeks to reduce structural disparities between EU regions, foster balanced development throughout the EU and promote real equal opportunities for all. Based on the concepts of solidarity and economic and social cohesion, it achieves this in practical terms by means of a variety of financing operations, principally through the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. For the period 2007-2013, the European Union's regional policy is the EU's second largest budget item, with an allocation of €348 billion. The objective of economic and social cohesion was introduced in 1986 with the adoption of the Single European Act. The policy was finally incorporated into the EC Treaty itself (Articles 158 to 162) with the Maastricht Treaty (1992).
- Review and the future of regional policy
Provisions and instruments of regional policy
Structural Funds, Cohesion Fund, European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF), European Investment Bank (EIB)
Management of regional policy
Budgetary and financial provisions, national regional aid, services of general interest, enlargement