European Union

Regional policy

Regional policy targets EU regions and cities, boosting economic growth and improving quality of life through strategic investment. It is also an active form of solidarity which focuses support on the less developed regions.

EU regional policy funding focuses on 4 priorities:

Regional policy delivers results. Between 2007 and 2012 it helped EU countries:

  • create 769 000 jobs
  • invest in 225 000 smaller businesses
  • fund 72 000 research projects
  • bring broadband coverage to 5 million more EU citizens
  • improve quality of life in cities through 11 000 different projects

Regional policy is delivered through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund. National and regional authorities, in cooperation with the European Commission, are responsible for managing the funds from day to day. These Managing Authorities select, finance and monitor the projects that can best help to serve local needs. They provide information on funding opportunities to potential beneficiaries, including:

  • public bodies
  • the private sector (businesses)
  • universities
  • associations & NGOs

Read more about EU regional policy

Find the managing authority in your country


Manuscript updated in November 2014

This publication is part of the 'European Union explained' series

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