ESI Funds Open Data Platform
Frequently Asked Questions

Additional tools


Video Tutorial

a. General

The ESI Funds are a family of five EU funding instruments that provide structural and investment financing across the EU. The budget provides EUR 454 Billion in the period 2014-2020.
While the five funds address different stakeholders and sectors they share two important commonalities

For more information about the ESI Funds and the individual funds :

This platform also covers the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) which is a specific funding resource under the ESF Regulation dedicated to fighting youth unemployment.

Thematic Objective 1: Research and innovation by Country for 2014-2020

ESI Funds - Breakdown by Fund

One dictionary definition given of a "programme" is a "a set of related measures or activities with a particular long-term aim". This is a good description of an ESI Funded investment programme. ESI funded programmes start life as a proposal presented by EU member States or regions to the Commission. Following discussion of the investment objectives, strategy, budget allocations, monitoring system, performance measures and delivery and control mechanisms the programme is adopted and then implemented over the programme period (multi annual). The ESI Funds Open Data Platform presents information on financial and achievement plans and implementation.

The data included in the platform comes for the 533 national, regional or interregional programmes adopted under the ESI Funds by the Commission following discussions with the relevant national and regional authorities.

The National and regional public authorities proposed the financial allocations and the indicators for achievements which were then discussed and agreed with the Commission.

The data is exchanged by the national and regional authorities and the Commission through a common IT platform – SFC2014.

In July 2016 the Instrument of Pre Accession - Cross Border Cooperation (IPA-CBC) programmes were included in the finances dataset and the 10 additional programmes concerned are listed under the relevant EU Member States.

The platform is mainly focussed on the 2014-2020 funding period and provides common information covering all five ESI funds as well as the Youth Employment Initiative.

It also provides links to some material of the Cohesion Policy funds 2007-2013 (Cohesion Fund, ERDF, and ESF).

For ERDF / Cohesion Fund other datasets also covering earlier programme periods are available on this "Data for Research" page.

Yes. The data that is behind the ESI Funds visualisations can be accessed and downloaded from the platform. Use the "Explore and Share this Data" function to access it, or go to the “Catalogue” on the home page for a full list of datasets and a search engine.

The ESI Funds Open Data Platform was developed with open data services provider Socrata. Socrata provides open data services and cloud-based data storage to a wide range of public authorities.

A user guide to help users navigate the platform, find datasets and charts, visualise and export data, is available.

We recommend the Socrata on line support material.

To become a user (and be able to create your own visualisations, etc.)  please enroll from this webpage:

Each programme has a unique CCI code. The structure of these codes is explained in this document.

Programmes can cover one or more than one NUTS-2 region. Under each fund there are programmes covering NUTS-2 regions in different combinations:

  • ERDF: National, regional (NUTS2), cross-border and trans national
  • Cohesion Fund and EMFF: National programmes
  • ESF/YEI and EAFRD: National and regional (NUTS2) programmes

This “lookup” dataset provides a mapping of the 2014-2020 cohesion policy programmes to NUTS 2 regions as set out in the programme texts.

b. ESIF Finances

All financial data on the period 2014-2020 is expressed in current prices (i.e. the value of the EU funding in the year in question). (In rare cases where “constant prices” may be used, it will be specified in the dataset metadata.)

  • Data on finances planned:This financial information is set out in the programme documents adopted by the Commission and made available in a common format across all funds. The data is cumulative and comes from the financial tables of each programme. It includes information on total planned investment EU and National (public and private) financing. We have made available information on the financial allocation by "Thematic Objective" (see Q&A 2.3 below). The current data has been updated to reflect the status of the programmes in February 2017.
  • Data on finances implemented: This data presents cumulative information from the programmes on their financial implementation progress on the ground as follows:
    • For Cohesion Policy funds (ERDF-ESF-YEI-Cohesion Fund) updates are received 3 times a year – on 31 January, 31 July and 31 October - covering cumulative finances implemented to the end of the month preceding submission. After submission the data is published on the platform within 4-6 weeks;
    • For EAFRD the data on the value of selected projects is reported once a year on 30 June covering cumulative selection up until the previous December; the data on expenditure is taken from the certified expenditure reported quarterly;
    • For EMFF the data on the value of selected projects and spending is reported once a year on 31 May, and covers the period until the previous December
    • The data on finances implemented are reported by “priority axis” (the main investment pillars or envelopes in the programmes) in total public cost (not split EU/National);
    • The dataset contains a partial ventilation of implemented finances by themes (the thematic objectives) (see also Q+A 2.9 below).
    • Dataset with metadata:
  • Data on EU payments:This presents the cumulative payments made by EU to the Member States and Interreg programmes from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) during the 2014-2020 period updated on daily basis. Four types of graphs are presented based on the EU payment dataset:
    • A visualization of EU payments aggregated across all Funds (EU level page, Country pages, Fund pages) – showing annual time series to the end of each year (e.g. 2015 includes 2014+2015 payments);
    • A visualization of EU payments by ESI Fund (EU level page, Country pages and program pages) – cumulative values
    • A visualization of EU payments by Member State (comparing payment rates by Member State on the EU level page and Fund pages) – cumulative values;
    • A visualization of EU payments by category of region (Fund pages of ERDF and ESF) – cumulative values

    All graphs present a split by payment type (initial pre-financing, annual pre-financing and interim payments) with an interactive legend where the user is invited to select/de-select one/some types of payments

    The dataset underlying the visualizations has the following main elements:

    • It is updated daily and therefore shows the most recent position based on payments made by the EU to the Member States;
    • It contains three main categories of net payments – initial pre-financing, annual pre-financing and interim payments - and also includes the composite value used to calculate the net payments. (N.B. EAFRD does not apply annual pre-financing)
    • It contains time series of cumulated values for the end of each calendar year and the latest cumulative value for the current year (N.B. When analysing the data, the values of each year should not be aggregated as the later year includes the previous years' values).
    • In addition to EU payments from ESI Funds, the dataset also includes the payments made by EU to FEAD and IPAE programmes - though those funds are not visualized on the ESIF platform.
    • The payments made are reported based on the amounts approved by the European Commission without taking into account eventual delays with the bank transfer.
    • The dataset can be explored, filtered or downloaded by following the link "Explore and share this dataset".
    • Dataset with metadata:


Yes. This dataset - ESIF 2014-2020 EU payments (daily update) - was published at end March 2017 to provide information on the Total EU planed amounts, pre-financing and interim payments. Relevant visualisations of that data are being prepared and will be made available by mid-2017.

The eleven main "Thematic Objectives" represent the high level objectives for the ESI Funds that contribute to the EU objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and around which the programmes frame their investment plans. Depending on the ESI Fund there are more detailed lists of objectives and spending areas.

For instance, for the ERDF/Cohesion Fund and ESF/YEI the most detailed information available on the planned investments come from the "categorisation" data.

The planned categorisation data was provided by each Managing authority during the preparation of the adopted programme documents.  The values are "estimated" by the programmes based on the themes and the actions they plan to finance with a view to contributing to the programme policy objectives. The system is an information system (rather than an accounting / audit system) and is valuable for understanding trends and for targeting studies and evaluations. The 2014-2020 planned categorisation data is available in this dataset:

This public guidance document provides some more background.

In addition to information on planned amounts, each programme reports once a year on the progress in selecting and implementing projects using the categorisation codes. That data is reported cumulatively on an annual basis on 31 January of each year. This dataset provides the detailed planned and implemented values (decided for selected projects and expenditure) reported, allowing the most detailed comparison of implementation.

The cohesion policy “Categorisation data – decided vs implementation” dataset includes the calculation of financial amounts under climate and biodiversity tracking and the number of operations supported. The dataset metadata page has linked charts that highlight the total climate and biodiversity tracked amounts at EU level, by Member State and by “intervention field”.

This interactive data story provides an explanation of the system of climate tracking and a guide to the chart available.

In April 2018 the dataset “Financial instruments implementation (finances)” was published with 2015 and 2016 data reported by the programmes on progress approving and implementing the financing of financial instruments. The dataset is updated regularly.

This interactive data story provides an explanation of the progress implementing Financial instruments and a guide to the charts available.

In the context of "shared" management it is the Member States that select and monitoring the millions of projects supported. They must also publish lists of beneficiaries.

The Commission webpages listed below provide direct links to national lists of the beneficiaries:

The linked websites are managed by the respective Member State under their sole responsibility. The information provided is subject to regular updates.

Under the rules governing the implementation of the funds 2014-2020 the Member States must publish the name of the beneficiary, the activity funded and the amount of public funding allocated. The specific requirements by fund are linked on the website above. For instance for the Cohesion Policy funds (ERDF/ESF/Cohesion Fund) see Article 115 and Annex XII of EU No 1303/2013 - for the full list of details to be provided.

Separately, the KEEP project gathers and publishes data on the projects and beneficiaries of European Union programmes dedicated to cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation within the EU, and between Member States and neighbouring countries. KEEP is the only source of aggregated project information regarding those programmes (including Interreg-IPA cross-border and ENPI/ENI cross-border programmes). The KEEP database covers the 2000-2006 and 2007-2013 periods and has now been extended to cover the 2014-2020 period. The KEEP database is searchable by different terms and criteria allowing users a very large variety of search levels and results, from very high level European views of the projects of these programmes to very detailed views of, for example, contacts of lead partners or the specific objective of a programme to which a project contributes.

During 2017 an independent research project has launched website. The project's objectives is to increase transparency of EU Funding at project level by unravelling how the European Structural Investment Funds are spent. The project collected and standardised all available beneficiary lists for the ERDF, ESF and CF for the 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 funding periods. These funds are partially funded by the EU and the Member States and allocated by regional authorities to local beneficiaries.(Project Disclaimer: presents the data as it is available on the regional and national portals, unavailability of data on the portals might distort the total numbers on the website. Please note that large amounts of data were scraped (from the web and PDFs), which could have led to errors. Several different amounts are present in the data, so please compare carefully).

Specific programme pages were published in July 2016. These pages provide finances and achievement details by theme for each programme. The data is available through the programme's country page.

In order to deliver the planned objectives, the programmes select projects (operations) in line with the each programme's strategy.
When programmes report financial and indicator data on "projects selected" this implies the following :

  • The relevant selection procedures have been applied by the programme authority;
  • A decision has been taken to support the specific project;
  • The programme and the project promoter have agreed on the funding and the other details such as indicator forecasts, monitoring arrangement, etc.

While the texts of the specific programmes describe the potential beneficiaries, the Commission does not receive structured information on the nature of the beneficiaries that finally receive funding.
See Q+A 2.6 for further information on the published beneficiary list at Member States level.

c. ESI Funds Achievements – Indicators

The 'Achievements' sections present in indicator tiles information on the common indicators for the different funds.
The five ESI Funds have separate sets of common indicators, measuring the direct outputs or effects of the investments planned across programmes and countries. The indicators are listed in the Fund regulations and defined in specific guidance documents. The funds have separate sets of indicators because they are mainly focused on different policy fields, different stakeholders or specific different sectors.
The indicator tiles present 1) the targets set in the adopted programmes and information reported annually by the programmes on implementation – 2) the indicator forecasts linked to decided selected projects and 3) the implemented values.
With the first data reported on implementation received in 2016 the dataset on achievements now provides the following information on each indicator:

  • Planned: achievements (targets)
  • Decided: (forecasts for selected projects)
  • Implemented values implemented by the projects
The reporting on indicator implementation takes place annually and will be used to update the platform again in late 2017.

More than 100 common indicators have been selected for use on the platform. These indicators represent common activities within each fund, across many Member States. They do not however capture all activities or outputs in all cases. For the ERDF for example programme specific (non-common) indicators are also widely used to capture direct outputs.

Fund specific common indicators fall into two groups:

  • Common output indicators, measuring the direct output of the investments projects (specific lists exist for all funds);
  • Common result indicators, measuring a benefit or result that happens after the project has been completed (these are defined in particular for EAFRD, ESF/YEI, EMFF).

For the ESF and YEI, participants should be understood as "participations" similarly to other widely used terms such as 'users', 'spectators' or 'airline passengers'. One participant may participate in several operations. At the same time, an ESF participant returning to the same operation is not counted multiple times. Moreover, indirect participations are excluded from the calculations.

The definitions for all these indicators are provided in the Fund specific guidance below:

The indicators were developed based on previous experience and on discussions with national and international experts over several years.
For example, in the case of the ERDF/Cohesion Fund a discussion was launched in 2011 with an international panel of experts to discuss how the effects and impacts of ERDF/Cohesion Fund programmes could be better monitored and evaluated. This was followed up with discussions of the Commission proposals with the Member States.

The 5 funds have specific lists of indicators because, by and large, they are focused on different policy fields, they have different policy objectives, with different stakeholders or they focus on specific sectors.
The practice of fund specific common indicators has developed over time and has been improved for the 2014-2020 programmes.

There is insufficient information available to determine "unit costs" across so many different indicators and national contexts.

Even at the most detailed level at which the data is available it is not possible to draw direct comparisons or conclusions about the investment levels and the expected achievements (output targets). There are many reasons for this:

  • Some indicators capture measurements that cover a wide variety of situations. Example: The firms supported can be large enterprises or micro enterprises; the financial support may be EUR 1 million or EUR 1 000.
  • The form and intensity of support can vary widely depending on the region or country. In some countries grant financing may be available at 80% of costs while in others only loan financing is offered depending on other financing possibilities.
  • In relation to infrastructure: the design and construction standards and the climatic conditions can vary strongly with an impact on the costs of construction.
  • The costs of services and materials that make up the projects may vary across the EU.
  • The national or regional economic environment in which the results are pursued can differ largely. Example: actions to improve employment rates are pursued in very different labour market conditions.
  • Qualitative outcomes related to the same result can vary among programmes. Example: the sustainability of employment varies across economies.
  • Some planned achievements capture the totality of the finances in a specific programme or priority, some others do not. In particular, in ESF programmes common indicators were used to a very limited extent to express planned achievements; programme specific indicators were more widely used.

A list of datasets related to the 2007-2013 period is available in the Catalogue

In relation to ERDF and Cohesion Fund you can find various dataset on the "Data for Researchers" page.

For the ESF/YEI: Data and figures

d. Future developments

Yes. The Commission plans to progressively develop the site.

In particular the financial data on selected operations (reporting varies, at least annually for EMFF, and 3 times a year for Cohesion Fund/ERDF/ESF/YEI. Progress in the achievement of indicators is reported by programmes annually.

Further datasets will also be added to catalogue. The main developments that have taken place over time are listed below in Q&A 4.2.

February 2019

  • On the 11 theme pages, the “Finances Implemented” was added for the first time. Each theme page now includes 4 finances implemented charts - ESIF overview time series bullet chart, Fund overview bullet chart, the comparison by MS bullet chart and the comparison by MS scatterplot (animated). There is an important caveat: because of the use of multi thematic priority axis in cohesion policy programmes, the finances implemented data can only partially be mapped to TOs.
  • The Commission has started to publish interactive data stories on the platform. Check out this interactive data story on the implementation of financial instruments.

December 2018

  • The ”achievement” dataset was been updated with the latest cumulative values available until end 2017.
  • The “Finances implemented” dataset was updated with financial values from 30/9/2018 reported by cohesion policy programmes. The total volume of investment allocated to selected projects stood at EUR 405 billion or 63 % of the total planned amount.
    • The latest “Finances implemented” dataset includes a correction of the EUR volume of EAFRD project selection reported for end 2017. Since July 2018 the site showed a total volume of EAFRD project selection by end-2017 of EUR 90.5 billion, that is now reduced to EUR 73.7 billion (values for previous years were not affected). The error arose from a change in the reporting template for EAFRD programmes, which was not taken into account in the extraction of data leading to the double counting of certain project selection amounts.
    • For EMFF the project selection has also been recalculated based on total public cost only; that led to a reduction in the 2017 value from EUR 2.4 billion to EUR 1.8 billion (previously reported values have also been adjusted).)
  • The cohesion policy “Categorisation data – decided vs implementation” dataset was updated to include the calculation of financial amounts under climate and biodiversity tracking and the number of operations supported. The dataset metadata page has linked charts that highlight the total climate and biodiversity tracked amounts at EU level, by Member State and by “intervention field”.
  • The December newsletter was published.

October 2018

  • A user guide to help users navigate the platform, find datasets and charts, visualise and export data, has been made available.

September 2018

  • A new dataset was published showing the cumulative payment history 2007-2013 of each ERDF/ Cohesion Fund programme showing over 97.7 % payment execution until September 2018. The dataset is updated daily
  • Addition of end-June 2018 financial data for Cohesion policy funds. The overall volume of cohesion policy investments allocated to projects rose by €42 billion in the first 6 months of 2018 bring total investments approved to over EUR 303 billion or 62%. See the latest ERDF, ESF/YEI and Cohesion Fund progress under the heading “Finances Implemented” on the Overview, Theme, Fund, Country and programme pages. Reference dataset + metadata.

August 2018

July 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

  • For EAFRD programmes data on expenditure by selected projects, taken from the certified expenditure reported quarterly, has been added to the Financed Implemented dataset and graphs

December 2017

  • The EU and total planned amounts were adjusted by the end of December with corrections linked to the allocation of the "technical adjustment". The net effect was to add a further EUR 4.6 billion of EU financing under selected ERDF and ESF programmes.
  • Financial data up to 30 September 2017 was published for the following funds: ERDF / ESF / Cohesion Fund / EAFRD programmes. The total now allocated to selected projects is EUR 278 billion (44% of the planned amount), an increase of EUR 92 Billion in selected projects since end 2016.
  • The 2016 values reported for the common indicators – both decided values (forecasts from selected projects) and implemented values - have been made public. The 2015 values have also been corrected based on the last values reported by the Programmes.
  • The visualisations on the platform for the "finances implemented" and "achievement tiles" have been adapted to show the progress year on year.

September 2017

  • The presentation of the online graphs was improved by making the graph titles more specific and adding references period and refresh data of underlying data.
  • New financial implementation data from EMFF programmes up until the end of 2016 was published.
  • Financial data up to 30 June 2017 was published for ERDF/ESF/Cohesion Fund programmes. The total now decided for selected operations is now EUR 186 billion, an increase of EUR 52 Billion in 6 Months. More details
  • A new dataset on the planned and notified major projects (mainly infrastructures) was published on 29 September: ESIF 2014-2020 ERDF CF Major Projects (dataset + metadata). More information

July 2017

  • New EU payment sections with graphs showing the payments made were published on the platform and are updated daily based on the underlying dataset

March 2017

February 2017

  • Publication of the December 2016 financial data for Cohesion fund, EAFRD, ERDF, and ESF-YEI;
  • New adapted visualisation for the ESF – YEI common indicators showing implemented values reported and composite tiles of the indicators related to employment, age and education attainment status of participants;
  • Updated "Finances planned" data, reflecting programmes adopted in February 2017. That data also now presents the total budget of the Youth employment initiative (YEI), including both the YEI specific allocation and the ESF matching allocation under YEI. The other ESF planned amounts have been reduced accordingly. The national co-financing for the ESF matching allocation can also be visualised. No co-financing is required for the YEI specific allocation.

December 2016

  • The dataset on "finances planned" was updated to reflect adopted programmes as of November 2016;
  • A new dataset was added for "finances implemented" showing financial data reported by the programmes on the total cost of decided allocations to selected projects along with the spending (eligible expenditure) declared by projects to the programme managers;
  • Visualisations were added of the financial data on project selection and expenditure on the ground based on the data reported by the programmes (November 2016); 
  • The "achievements" dataset was extended to include the first information on progress towards the planned targets, forecasts linked to decided selected projects and actually implemented values.

July 2016:

  • The finances planned dataset was updated to include the IPA-CBC programmes and to exclusively reflect adopted programmes as at June 2016;
  • The visualisations for all 530 ESI Fund programmes and 10 IPA-CBC programmes of finances and achievement targets (common indicators) when available were opened and are available from the lists provided on each "country page";
  • New visualisations of the finances dataset were added: filtered visualisations of: (1) the finances allocated by EU/national/total finance, and (2) on the theme page a filter to visualise absolute amounts or relative shares;
  • For the EMFF, programme targets for 11 of the 18 common indicators were made available when used by the national programmes.

December 2015

  • The "finances" planned and "achievements" (indicator targets) datasets were published for the first time (with November 2015 data, with some programmes still in draft form);
  • Visualisations were presented at EU, Theme, Country and Fund levels;
  • A dataset on Cohesion fund-ERDF-ESF-YEI was published in the ODP catalogue.

Check these pages the ERDF/Cohesion Fund "Data for Researchers" page.

For the ESF/YEI: Data and figures


All Member States have an obligation to regularly present information on the beneficiaries of the EU supported programmes.  See the answer to Question 2.6 above.
In addition the Commission is aware of the following

  • Some Member States maintain their own national platforms presenting detailed information on the EU programmes in their country. Examples include
  • The EU Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed an "ESIF Viewer" tool. It is a based on data provided by the Commission on the planned investments in research and innovation linked with Regional Smart Specialisation strategies:


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