Cohesion Policy 2000-2006: what have we achieved?
From 2000 to 2006, EU cohesion policy provided support for regions in the 27 Member States, investing over €120 billion in 230 programmes. Launched in 1986, the policy’s effectiveness and its contribution to Europe have been amply demonstrated, particularly in terms of economic growth, jobs and the environment. Not wishing to rest on its laurels, cohesion policy has been the subject of assorted improvements and innovations since 2007, opening up the prospect of going even further by 2013. Cadiz in Andalusia (Spain), Poprad in the High Tatras region (Slovakia) and Graz in Styria (Austria) are perfect examples of cohesion policy’s value added at local level. The respective inhabitants of these three cities, Pablo, Peter and Mikael, can testify to this. Cut in two by a railway line, Cadiz spent many years suffering from failing mobility. In Poprad, which had no sewage treatment system until 2007, ecosystems were under threat. Graz, the capital of a region hit by industrial decline, had to diversify its business sectors.