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Agreement reached on the 2021-2027 EU regional and cohesion funding

On Tuesday, a provisional agreement was reached on the future regional and cohesion funds, aimed at strengthening the EU’s economic, social and territorial cohesion.

According to the provisional deal agreed by Parliament and Council’s negotiators, a significant part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is by far the largest public EU fund, will be spent on smart growth and the green economy.

EU countries will be able to choose between complying either at national or at regional level with the required minimum resources, allocated for each of these objectives. The thresholds are set as follows:


Minimum % of resources for “smarter Europe”

Minimum % of resources for “greener Europe”

Group 1 countries / more developed regions (GNI ratio equal to or above 100% of EU average)



Group 2 countries / transition regions (GNI ratio between 75%-100% of EU average)



Group 3 countries / less developed regions (GNI ratio below 75% of EU average)



The Cohesion Fund (CF) will continue to focus on investment in environmental and transport infrastructure.

The decommissioning or construction of nuclear power stations, activities linked to tobacco products, airport infrastructure (except for outermost regions), fossil fuels investments, among others, will be excluded from EU regional funding.

An exception is made for natural gas projects that replace coal-based heating systems, retrofit gas infrastructure to allow the use of renewable and low carbon gases, as well as public procurement of clean vehicles. A maximum of between 0.2% and 1.55% of national ERDF and CF resources may be directed to such investments (these thresholds do not include investments in clean vehicles), according to criteria linked to GNI levels and dependence on fossil fuels. Moreover, projects that include natural gas investments must be approved by 31 December 2025 at the latest in order to receive funding.

Other key measures agreed

  • More support for cities: at least 8% of the ERDF resources at national level earmarked for sustainable urban development and the creation of the “European Urban Initiative”;
  • Specific measures for outermost regions, islands and depopulated areas;
  • Respect of environmental, climate and biodiversity objectives, as well as circular economy principles;
  • Increased focus on research and innovation, including the creation of an “Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument”.

Click here for the full press release


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