European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The ERDF was set up in 1975 and provides financial support for the development and structural adjustment of regional economies, economic change, enhanced competitiveness as well as territorial cooperation throughout the EU. Along with the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Regional Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the ERDF is one of the five Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) of the EU.
For the 20014-20 period, the budget for the ERDF amounts to more than EUR 250 billion. The Fund supports projects under the 11 thematic objectives for cohesion policy, and focuses in particular on four key priorities:
• Strengthening research, technological development and innovation
• Enhancing access to, and use and quality of ICT
• Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs
• Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors.The ERDF also funds cross-border, interregional and transnational projects under the European territorial cooperation objective.