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Since 1994, the Cohesion Fund has been used to provide support for the poorer regions of Europe and stabilise their economies with a view to promoting growth, employment and sustainable development. The Fund contributes to financing environmental measures and trans-European transport networks - particularly high-priority projects of European interest - in the 12 Member States that have joined the EU since 2004, as well as in Spain, Greece and Portugal. The Cohesion Fund may also be used to finance the priorities of the EU's environmental protection policy.
Member States with a Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant below 90% of the EU average are eligible for funding from the Cohesion Fund. The ceiling for the Cohesion Fund's contribution to public expenditure in the Member States is set at 85%. The budget for the Cohesion Fund is worth almost €70 billion for the period 2007-13.