The Cohesion Fund is aimed at Member States whose Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90 % of the EU average. It aims to reduce economic and social disparities and to promote sustainable development.
It is now subject to the same rules of programming, management and monitoring as the ERDF and ESF though the Common Provisions Regulation.
For the 2014-2020 period, the Cohesion Fund concerns Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The Cohesion Fund allocates a total of € 63.4 billion to activities under the following categories:
- trans-European transport networks, notably priority projects of European interest as identified by the EU. The Cohesion Fund will support infrastructure projects under the Connecting Europe Facility;
- environment: here, the Cohesion Fund can also support projects related to energy or transport, as long as they clearly benefit the environment in terms of energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, developing rail transport, supporting intermodality, strengthening public transport, etc.
The financial assistance of the Cohesion Fund can be suspended by a Council decision (taken by qualified majority) if a Member State shows excessive public deficit and if it has not resolved the situation or has not taken the appropriate action to do so.