Navigation path

Additional tools

History of the policy

1957 - 1987

Milestones video

1988 - 1992

Video 1988-92

  • 1988 – to adapt to the arrival of Greece (1981), Spain and Portugal (1986), the Structural Funds were integrated into an overarching cohesion policy, introducing key principles:
    • focusing on the poorest and most backward regions
    • multi-annual programming
    • strategic orientation of investments
    • involvement of regional and local partners
  • Budget: ECU 64 billion

1994 - 1999

Video 1994-99

  • 1993 – the Maastricht Treaty introduced three novelties:
  • 1993 – creation of the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance
  • 1994-99 – the resources for the structural and cohesion funds were doubled, to equal a third of the EU budget.
  • 1995 – a special objective was added to support the sparsely-populated regions of Finland and Sweden.
  • Budget: ECU 168 billion

2000 - 2006

Video 2000-06

  • 2000 – the ‘Lisbon Strategy’ shifted the EU's priorities towards growth, jobs and innovation. The priorities of cohesion policy were shifted to reflect this.
  • 2000-04 – pre-accession instruments made funding and know-how available to countries waiting to join the EU
  • 2004 – ten new countries joined (increasing the EU's population by 20%, but its GDP by only 5%).
  • Budget: €213 billion for the 15 existing members; €22 billion for the new member countries (2004-06)

2007 - 2013

Video 2007-2013

EU Regional Policy: Stay informed