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European Regional Development Fund

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is designed to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union.

It aims to do this by correcting imbalances between regions enablinge investments in a smarter, greener, more connected and more social Europe that is closer to its citizens.

The ERDF finances programmes in shared responsibility between the European Commission and national and regional authorities in Member States. The Member States' administrations choose which projects to finance and take responsibility for day-to-day management.

Funding priorities

In 2021-2027, the fund will enable investments to make Europe and its regions:

  • more competitive and smarter, through innovation and support to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as digitisation and digital connectivity
  • greener, low-carbon and resilient
  • more connected by enhancing mobility
  • more social, by supporting employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare, as well as by enhancing the role of culture and sustainable tourism
  • closer to citizens, supporting locally-led development and sustainable urban development across the EU

Thematic concentration

Based on their prosperity, all regions and Member States will concentrate the support on a more competitive and smarter Europe (Policy Objective – PO 1), as well as greener, low-carbon transitioning towards a net zero carbon economy and resilient Europe (PO2), through the mechanism known as 'thematic concentration'.
All regions and Member States (MSs) will concentrate at least 30% of their allocation to PO 2 and:

  • More developed regions or MSs will dedicate at least 85% of their allocation to PO1 and PO2;
  • Transition regions or MSs at least 40% to PO1;
  • Less developed regions or MSs at least 25% to PO1.

All regions and Member States will also concentrate at least 8% of their allocation to urban development that will be delivered through local development partnerships with different tools.
Operations under the ERDF are also expected to contribute 30 % of the overall finance to climate objectives.

Full text of the ERDF regulation on Eur-Lex

ERDF in the 2014-2020 programming period