Cohesion Policy 

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The cohesion policy is a core investment policy of the European Union. Its purpose is to support the creation of jobs, the competitiveness of businesses, economic development, sustainable development and the improvement of the quality of life of the citizens in all regions and cities of the EU. The Policy aims to foster solidarity between the EU Member States, the convergence of the Regions and to reduce the gap between their levels of development and generally their economic, social and territorial differences.

Two of the basic new core elements of the EU cohesion policy for the period 2014-2020 are:

  • The Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation, which aim at a developmental-economic transformation with a territorial dimension through:

    • Focusing policy and investments support on core national / regional priorities, challenges and needs for knowledge based growth.

    • Developing capacities, competitive edges and potential for excellence of each region/country.

    • Support of innovation technology and practice and stimulation of investments in the private sector.

    • Achieving the full participation of the involved stakeholders and encouraging innovation and experimentation.

    • Evidence based plans for sound monitoring and assessment.

  • An integrated approach for territorial and urban development through the following tools:

    • Local growth with the initiative of local Communities.

    • Integrated Territorial Investments.

    • Integrated sustainable urban development.


The cohesion policy contributes to the accomplishment of many targets, as well as EU policies which it supplements (e.g. education, employment, energy, environment, research and innovation, etc.) and provides the necessary resources and suitable investment framework for implementing the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy of the EU.