Cohesion policy Frequently Asked Questions


10. What results does Cohesion Policy produce?

Cohesion Policy makes a real difference, investing huge sums in some countries (up to 4% of their GDP). Now, as the new programming period gets underway, the national authorities have set quantifiable objectives (in their national strategic reference frameworks).

Alongside the Commission they are measuring the effect that programmes are having. Every three years, the Commission publishes a Cohesion Report giving an account of how regions are developing and what effect Cohesion Policy is having. It also produces annual interim reports.

Impact and results – growth and jobs in the EU

  • Increasing per capita GDP in Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal – for example, GDP per capita in Greece increased from 74% of the EU average to 88% between 1995 and 2005
  • Helping to reduce income disparities doc between the richest and poorest regions by roughly a sixth (between 2000 and 2005) thanks to sustained high growth
  • By 2015, it is estimated that cohesion policy will have generated an additional 440,000 jobs in Poland, as well as contributing an extra 6% to GDP and 21% to investment
  • Over 44,000 km of road were built or reconstructed in the period 2000-2006(1). The equivalent figure for rail was nearly 12,000 km(2)
  • Co-financing the construction of over 1200 km of roads in Spain pdf, saving an estimated 1.2m hours of travel time every year
  • Supporting more than 250,000 small businesses in the UK pdf – 16,000 of which have received direct financial support
  • Over 25,000 RTD co-operation projects were supported in the period 2000-2006(3)

Measuring the impact and results of cohesion policy is critical to its ongoing success. It enables us to demonstrate the achievements of the policy to European citizens. It also offers the opportunity to learn from good practices and to continuously improve projects and programmes.