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In the 2007-13 programming period, European Cohesion Policy programmes have 'targeted' certain objectives outlined in the EU's Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs. This targeting involves the earmarking of funds for investments that directly strengthen competitiveness and job creation - in research and innovation, skills, business services, major European infrastructures and greater energy efficiency.
The Commission and the Member States will ensure that 60% of expenditure by all Member States for the Convergence Objective, and 75% of expenditure for the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective, target these priorities.
The Lisbon 'targeting' in Cohesion Policy programmes is not a legally binding requirement on all Member States. In the case of the Member States which joined the Union in May 2004 and in January 2007, it is strictly voluntary; however, all the countries have adopted the same approach on a voluntary basis. Member States must report back each year on how they have used Cohesion Policy programmes in support of growth, jobs and competitiveness.