The Structural funds are funding instruments that allow the European Union (EU) to grant financial assistance to specific sectors, regions, or combinations of both, to resolve structural economic and social problems.
At present, there are four structural funds:
- The European regional development funds (ERDF), whose main objective is to promote economic and social cohesion within the EU by addressing imbalances between regions or social groups.
- The European social fund (ESF), the main financial instrument allowing the EU to realise the strategic objective of its employment policy.
- The European agricultural guidance and guarantee fund (EAGGF - Guidance Section), which contributes to the structural reform of the agriculture sector and to the development of rural areas.
- The Financial instrument for fisheries guidance (FTGC), the specific fund for the structural reform of the fisheries sector.