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Cohesion Policy is the European Union's strategy to promote and support the "overall harmonious development" of its Member States and regions.
Enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Art. 174), the EU's Cohesion Policy aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion by reducing disparities in the level of development between regions. The policy focuses on key areas which will help the EU face up to the challenges of the 21st century and remain globally competitive.
Approximately 35.7% of the EU budget 2007-13 (equivalent to ca. €347.41 billion over seven years at 2008 prices) is allocated to financial instruments which support Cohesion Policy. These are managed and delivered in partnership between the European Commission, the Member States and stakeholders at the local and regional level.