Key achievements of Regional Policy

The present country results are based on the Synthesis report of the ex post evaluation of Cohesion policy programmes financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund over the 2007-2013 programming period. They present and analyse the findings at a Member State level and they attempt to answer three main sets of questions:

  • How the funding provided was used in the Member State or what the money was spent on?
  • What the results were and how far they contributed to the goals of Cohesion policy?
  • What the lessons to be drawn from the experience over the period are and what the implications are for Cohesion policy in the future or how the design and operation of the policy can be improved to make it more effective?

So far for the programming period 2007-2013, key achievements of Regional Policy are:

Creating jobs and growth

Income has increased in the poorest EU regions with GDP per capita growing in these areas from 60.5 % of the EU average in 2007 to 62.7 % in 2010.


An estimated 1.3 million new jobs were created from 2007 to 2015

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Investing in people

2.4 million participants in ESF actions supporting access to employment found a job within 6 months (2007-2010).


Around 15 million ESF Participants every year

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Supporting enterprises


An estimated 356 800 projects implemented by SMEs receiving direct investment aid

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141 052 start-ups were supported

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Strengthening research and innovation


125 668 research projects supported

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45 371 co-operation projects supported

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70 900 new long-term research jobs were created

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20.6 million more EU citizens were covered by broadband connectivity

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Improving the environment


Water supply systems have been modernised, benefiting 15 million citizens

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More than 19.7 million citizens served by waste water projects

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1 650 Km2 of Area rehabilitated

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Modernising transport and energy production


Additional capacity of renewable energy production: 5 309 MW

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Roads: 6 700 Km built and 41 189 Km reconstructed

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Railways: 475 Km built and 7 500 Km reconstructed

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This page provides a snapshot of key achievements so far in the 2007-13 period (unless otherwise stated, data run from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2014), and shows how EU Cohesion Policy is helping to weather the crisis and produce growth.

Impacts and results for the 2000-2006 period can be found in the ex post evaluations.

Data for research 2007-2013
Cohesion Policy Data

Examples of EU co-funded projects during the 2007-2013 programming period