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European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

For the period 2014-20, cohesion policy is financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The ESIF include five different funds, which are all covered by Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, the so-called ‘Common Provisions Regulation’.

The Structural Funds have two components: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), providing financial support since 1975 for the development and structural adjustment of regional economies, economic change, enhanced competitiveness as well as territorial cooperation throughout the EU; and the European Social Fund (ESF), set up in 1958 and seeking to contribute to the adaptability of workers and enterprises, access to employment and participation in the labour market, social inclusion of disadvantaged people, combating all forms of discrimination, and creating partnerships to manage reforms in employment.

The other three funds constituting the ESIF are the Cohesion Fund, which supports exclusively less-developed Member States; the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development; and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.