The Cohesion Fund is aimed at Member States whose Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90% of the Community average. It serves to reduce their economic and social shortfall, as well as to stabilise their economy. It supports actions in the framework of the Convergence objective. It is now subject to the same rules of programming, management and monitoring as the ESF and the ERDF.
For the 2007-2013 period the Cohesion Fund concerns Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Spain is eligible to a phase-out fund only as its GNI per inhabitant is less than the average of the EU-15.
The Cohesion Fund finances activities under the following categories:
- trans-European transport networks, notably priority projects of European interest as identified by the Union;
- environment; here, Cohesion Fund can also support projects related to energy or transport, as long as they clearly present a benefit to the environment: energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, developing rail transport, supporting intermodality, strengthening public transport, etc.
The financial assistance of the Cohesion Fund can be suspended by a Council decision (taken by qualified majority) if a Member State shows excessive public deficit and if it has not resolved the situation or has not taken the appropriate action to do so.
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Motorway linking Bilbao to Santander (Spain)