IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to adisclaimerand acopyright notice
  European Commission > Regional Policy

Glossary | Search | Contact | Mailing lists
Newsroom Newsroom Commissioner Debate Issues Directorate General

Regional Policy and the Lisbon Strategy


In the present economic context, improving regional and local competitiveness is a vital objective for the European Union to meet the following challenges: greater socio-economic disparities after enlargement, restructuring provoked by globalisation, the technological revolution, the expansion of an economy and a society based on knowledge, the ageing of Europe's population and increased immigration.

To meet the expectations of its citizens, the Lisbon and Gothenburg European Councils defined a broad strategy to increase the competitiveness of the Union and achieve sustainable growth. Accordingly, during the 2000-2006 programming period, the various cohesion policy instruments - primarily the Structural Funds - contribute, directly or indirectly, to the Lisbon strategy. They will have a major impact on the competitiveness of the regions and help achieve substantial improvements in the living conditions of their populations.

The financial transfers resulting from cohesion policy will account for about one third of the growth in GDP in the worst off regions. In addition to this impact, cofinancing from the Structural Funds has a penetrating effect on the factors underlying regional competitiveness, so engendering lasting and sustainable economic development.

Despite the efforts made and the progress achieved, much remains to be done to bolster regional competitiveness and the work will by no means have been concluded when the current generation of Community programmes expires in 2006.

Cohesion policy in all its dimensions must be seen as an integral part of the Lisbon process. On 2 february 2005, the European Commission presented a revised strategy for the EU to create more growth and jobs. The strategy aims to revitalize the Lisbon Agenda - the EUs economic reform agenda from 2000. In other words, cohesion policy needs to incorporate the Lisbon and Gothenburg objectives and become a key vehicle for their realisation via the national and regional development programmes. The European Commission adopted on 14 february 2004 the legislative framework for the reform of cohesion policy for the period 2007-2013. The aim of the programmes will be to boost competitiveness and growth in the enlarged European Union.

The Union needs an ongoing and ambitious regional policy, covering all our regions and which will continue to act as a lever of growth throughout the enlarged Union.


More information:

15-16 December 2005 The European Council reached agreement on the Financial Perspective 2007-2013
24 November 2005

Financing Growth and Cohesion in the Enlarged EU - Conference presenting two new initiatives: Joint Assistance to Support Projects in the European Regions (JASPERS) and Joint European Resources for Micro-Enterprises (JEREMIE)

10-13 October 2005 European Week of Regions and Cities - OPEN DAYS 2005
7 October 2005 Working document of Directorate-General Regional Policy summarising the results of the public consultation on the Community Strategic Guidelines for Cohesion, 2007-2013
29 September 2005 Territorial Cooperation Programmes 2007-2013
A two-day seminar will be held in Brussels on 28 and 29 September on the new ‘European territorial cooperation’ (ex-INTERREG) objective. The issues to be discussed will concern management questions for the future generation of cross-border, transnational and interregional programmes.

6 Juli 2005 Commission adopts Communication on the "Community Strategic Guidelines for Cohesion 2007-2013"
17 May 2005 Third Progress Report on Cohesion
3 March 2005 Conference : Cohesion and the Lisbon Agenda: The Role of the Regions
February 2005 Thematic Evaluation of the Structural Funds’ Contributions to
the Lisbon Strategy
3 February 2005 Danuta Hübner : "Regional policy and the Lisbon agenda – Challenges and Opportunities" at the London School of Economics
2 February 2005 Contribution of the Structural Funds to the Lisbon objectives
2 February 2005 Presse : Commission launches ambitious Growth and Jobs strategy for the EU
2 February 2005 José Manuel Barroso : " Working together for growth and jobs: a new start for the Lisbon Strategy"
2 February 2005 Danuta Hübner: "The adaptation of cohesion policy to the enlarged Europe and the Lisbon an Gothenburg objectives after 2007"
2004 Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Financial Perspectives 2007 - 2013 : COM/2004/0487 final
2003 Competitiveness, sustainable development and cohesion in Europe - From Lisbon to Gothenburg
To learn more


Growth and Jobs

Understanding regional policy :

Regional Policy

Competitiveness, sustainable development and cohesion...

Proposals for the new structural funds
(14 July 2004)

Third report on economic and social cohesion
(18 February 2004)



Last modified on