Johannes Hahn (EU-Commissioner for Regional Policy) on Modern Cohesion Policy for a sustainable, smart and prosperous Europe

In his state of the Union speech in September 2011, Commission President José Manuel Barroso called for a renewed European Union. The EU Member States committed themselves to the common ‘Europe 2020’ framework – an extensive and far-reaching strategy aiming to improve our economic competitiveness and stimulate job creation and growth. Our goal is to increase the impact of our interventions and strengthen Cohesion Policy as the main investment arm of this renewed Union, being the key to achieve the ‘2020’ objectives.

Cohesion Policy is both, the most important and most comprehensive financial instrument of the Union to support investments in the real economy. And Cohesion Policy works: the creation of 1.4 million new jobs in the period 2000-2006 and a significant contribution to the increase in GDP present clear evidence. The current funding period 2007-2013 provides 105 billion Euro, one third of total budget, for investments in sustainable growth (double to the previous period) and 86 billion Euro, a quarter of total budget, for investment in innovation and research & development (triple to the previous period). The European funds set long-term and active growth and employment effects in times of austerity plans and restructuring public finances.

More information and Sources: European Ideas