Acting at EU level creates added value for many reasons:
Leverage effect: EU funding is added to national sources. It helps develop Private Public Partnerships (PPP). It helps maintain investment and growth even during periods of economic austerity.
Return effect: EU investments in less prosperous regions generate a substantial return for the better-off Member States and regions through contracts and the export of equipment, tools and expertise.
Programming effect: 7 years programming makes it possible to plan regional development over the longer term. This would not be possible in a purely national context.
Governance effect: Implementation of EU regional policy leaves room for initiative, boosts civil society and gender equality whilst developing control and evaluation systems. It is based on partnership of EU/Member States/regions/economic and social partners/NGOs with well-defined responsibilities and promotes sharing of experience.
Effect on other EU policies : European regional policy makes a significant contribution to implementing the other policies of the Union : employment, rural development, trans-European networks, research and the knowledge-based society. Furthermore, it has been a major force for implementing public procurement rules in Member States, as well as for respecting the environmental impact directive or publishing national lists of Natura 2000 sites (protection of natural habitats).