Wednesday, May 31, 2023

30th anniversary of the Cohesion Fund

03.04.2023, 12:19 Update: 05.04.2023, 12:21
EC - Audiovisual Service
EC - Audiovisual Service

Today, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Cohesion Fund. In the last 30 years, the Cohesion Fund has invested nearly €179 billion in the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU.

The Fund focus on Member States with a GNI below 90 pct. of the EU average to boost convergence between European economies. Support from the Cohesion Fund, like all funding under Cohesion Policy, have contributed to the rise in national incomes of the beneficiary countries. Ireland and Spain were the first countries that have seen their GNI rise above the eligibility threshold of 90 pct. of the EU average.

Thanks to the Fund, the railway line Warsaw-Gdynia in Poland has improved passenger transport on the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor, while modern rolling stock runs between the main cities of Poland.

Moreover, the Fund helped building airports to better connect the Member States which joined the EU in the 2000s. The airports of Tallinn, Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Rzeszow are just some examples. 

Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms said: „The Cohesion Fund has proven to be a booster for convergence, competitiveness and sustainable development, and for the internal market. It is a major contributor for a more levelled playing field in our Union and is one of the most exemplary means of EU support: iconic bridges, efficient and modern railways and metros, airports, as well as waste and water treatments that were supported by this Fund have improved the lives for millions of Europeans and modernised entire countries”.

The ‘Cohesion financial instrument', as the Cohesion Fund was initially called, was established on 1 April 1993, and entered into force in 1994 to strengthen the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU and the catch-up of countries with the rest of the EU.

The original beneficiaries from the Cohesion Fund were Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain (1994-1999); then, since 2004, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia; Bulgaria and Romania (since 2007); and Croatia (since 2013).

For the 2021-2027 programming period, more than 37% of the Fund's €48.03 billion allocation will support climate objectives. This includes €6.9 billion for clean urban transport, €3.3 billion for energy efficiency and €16.9 billion for investments in TEN-T rail and road.

The Cohesion Fund currently benefits 15 Member States with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita below 90% of the EU average at the time of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework agreement: Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.



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