European Structural Funding

European Cohesion Policy is the European Union’s strategy to promote and support the overall harmonious development of the European Union’s Member States and Regions. EU Regional Policy which forms essential part of this strategy, is an investment policy that supports job creation, competitiveness, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable development. These investments support the delivery of the Europe 2020 strategy which has the following targets:

Employment
75% of the 20-64 year-olds to be employed

Research, Development & Innovation
3% of the EU’s GDP invested in RDI

Climate Change & Energy
Greenhouse gas emissions 20% lower than 1990
20% of energy from renewables
20% increase in energy efficiency

Education
Reducing school drop-out rates below 10%
At least 40% of 30-34 year olds completing third level education

Poverty & Social Exclusion
At least 20 million fewer in or at risk of poverty & social exclusion

From 2014 to 2020 Cohesion Policy will be delivered through the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) programme, which brings together the following five funding programmes:

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions.
European Social Fund (ESF): invests in people, with a focus on improving employment and education opportunities across the European Union. It also aims to improve the situation of the most vulnerable people at risk of poverty.
Cohesion Fund (CF): aims to reduce economic and social disparities and to promote sustainable development.The Cohesion Fund is aimed at Member States whose Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90 % of the EU average, for this reason CF is not available in the West Midlands.
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector; improving the environment and the countryside; improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of the rural economy
European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF): The CFP is a set of rules for managing European fishing fleets and for conserving fish stocks.

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