EU Cohesion policy

Topics: European Union, European Parliament, Treaty of Lisbon Pages: 29 (7963 words) Published: March 21, 2014



1. Introduction2
2. The Lisbon Treaty – A Union for the 21st Century3
3. The EU institutional framework: legal framework and main bodies for the EU cohesion policy5 4. The Funds8
5. Grouping of the Member States and its regions in the Fifth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion (2010)15 6. Cohesion policy in the Multiannual Financial Framework 2007-2013 and in MFF 2014-2020 proposal19 7. Conclusion: impact and future of the EU cohesion policy23

1. Introduction

From Regional policy to Cohesion policy:
Achieving the goals of
economic, social and territorial cohesion in all EU regions

The European Union's regional policy, today also referred as EU cohesion policy, seeks to reduce structural disparities between EU regions, foster balanced development throughout the EU and promote real equal opportunities for all.

The EU Cohesion policy, or in other words EU regional policy, is basically a tool for increasing the welfare of EU member states and to increase equality between them and between regions within these countries. The European Union helps with this policy mainly countries and regions which have fallen behind, because of various reasons, in their development. Today, EU gives more than 35% of yearly budget to successful carrying out this policy. Cohesion policy is an important part of member countries budget and they have to use these funds well.

Also the goal of this policy is also to increase competition between regions, by giving them funds for removing social and economical diversity between them. Member states can use these funds to increase their production, to create more possibilities for jobs and growth. With new jobs buying power of the nations people also increases, which gives new acceleration to overall production in the country. In this harsh economic crisis these funds are more than welcomed.

The deeper meaning of cohesion policy is in global competition. International, global market is extremely competitive because everyone is trying to improve their present position in the world hierarchy. And, if EU wants to come on top, it needs to improve the situations in regions that are less competitive and don’t have as high growth as the healthy flagships. EU is currently the highest exporter and importer, but they lack improvement in high-tech export. And with the help of cohesion policy regions can become more successful and increase their production and buying power, which will helps in staying the world’s top exporter and importer.

Balanced economic development of the member states as aim of the integration was already mentioned in the in the early phase of the European integration (Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, 1957). Development of regional policy was also very dynamic in past decades and proffered name of this policy today is cohesion policy in the context of achieving the goals of economic, social and territorial cohesion in all EU regions. The purpose of this paper is to present and analyse EU cohesion policy through its institutional framework defined by the Lisbon Treaty, to explain groupings of member states (and its regions) by level of development, EU structural funds and the Cohesion fund, such as to analyse importance of this policy as a whole.

2. The Lisbon Treaty – A Union for the 21st Century

The Lisbon Treaty1 clearly sets out the European Union’s aims and values of peace, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, equality, rule of law and sustainability.

The Treaty pledges that the European Union will:
Offer people an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers Work for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment...
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