Polityka spójności 2021-2027

EU Cohesion Policy contributes to strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union. It aims to correct imbalances between countries and regions. It delivers on the Union's political priorities, especially the green and digital transition.


What’s new for 2021-2027?

  • Support to EU priorities: 5 policy objectives focused on key objectives and thematic concentration on those most relevant for a competitive and future-proof Europe
  • Climate targets: weighted climate and environmental contribution of investments, minimum targets for funds, climate adjustment mechanism
  • Greater empowerment of local, urban & territorial authorities in the management of the funds: dedicated policy objective implemented only through territorial and local development strategies
  • Simplification: The new cohesion policy introduces one set single of rules for the eight Funds and a significant reduction in the amount of secondary legislation. This entails notably:
    • Lighter and more frequent reporting
    • Lighter controls for programmes: sharp reduction of management verifications, “single audit principle”, proportionate arrangements for audits
    • Faster delivery: extended possibility to use simplified cost options  (SCOs) and financing not linked to costs schemes
    • End of Commission approval for major projects
    • No more designation of management and control bodies
  • Creating conditions for success: streamlined and clear enabling conditions to be respected throughout the whole programming period for reimbursement from the Union budget.
  • Flexible programming adjusted to new challenges and emerging needs: allocation of flexibility amount only after mid term review of socio-economic situation and possible new challenges
  • Reinforced visibility and communication provisions: requirements for beneficiaries and operations of strategic importance


More Information


Comparison 2014-2020 vs. 2021-2027



11 thematic objectives, many investment priorities

5 policy objectives breaking sectoral silos, fewer and shorter specific objectives

TO 11: enhancing institutional capacity of public authorities and stakeholders and efficient public administration

Capacity building and cooperation with partners within and outside MS as horizontal actions



GDP per capita > 90% EU-27 average
Co-financing: 50%

GDP per capita > 100% EU-27 average
Co-financing: 40% or 50% (would have been TRR under 2014-20 period)



GDP per capita between 75% and 90% EU-27 average
Co-financing: 60% or 80% (ex LDR)

GDP per capita between 75% and 100% EU-27 average
Co-financing: 60% or 70% (ex LDR)



GDP per capita < 75% EU-27 average
Co-financing: 80% or 85% (crisis impact)

GDP per capita < 75% EU-27 average
Co-financing: 85%)



Ex-ante conditionalities: mandatory summary of fulfilment also in the partnership agreement, action plans, deadline for fulfilment 31/12/2016, suspension of interim payments by the Commission to the priorities of the programme concerned that are affected

Enabling conditions: limited list, concise and exhaustive set of objective criteria for their assessment, each enabling condition linked to a specific objective and automatically applicable, application throughout the whole period, in case of non-fulfilment concerned expenditure may be included in payment applications but is not reimbursed by the Commission



Requirements at category of region level

Requirements either at national level or at category of region - choice to be made in the Partnership Agreement (for all programmes, for the entire period)
Compensation mechanisms possible

Sustainable urban development: at least 5% of ERDF resources allocated at national level under the Investment for growth and jobs goal

Sustainable urban development: at least 8% of the ERDF resources at national level under the Investment for jobs and growth goal, other than for technical assistance



Relevant ex-ante conditionalities; Enabling conditions
List of specific actions to take into account environmental protection requirements, resource efficiency, climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster resilience and risk prevention and management, in the selection of operations
Climate proofing of investments in infrastructure with an expected lifespan of at least 5 years

Climate and environmental weighting of intervention fields in implementing act

Climate and environmental weighting of intervention fields in annex I
  Minimum contribution at Fund level to climate targets
  If 3% climate bonus applied to Recovery and resilience plan, then also to Cohesion Policy funds
Total indicative amount of support envisaged for climate change objectives to be indicated in the Partnership Agreement and in the programmes National climate contributions, for ERDF and CF, to be established in the Partnership Agreement
  Climate adjustment mechanism: in case monitoring indicates insufficient progress, remediation measures agreed in annual review meeting

Managing authorities to undertake actions to avoid or reduce environmentally harmful effects of interventions and ensure results in net social, environmental and climate benefit

“Do no significant harm” principle



Country specific recommendations (CSRs) taken into account throughout the programming period

Improved and more operational links with European Semester – focus on investment-related CSRs esp. at the beginning of the programming (2019 CSRs) and during the mid-term review (2024 CSRs)

Macroeconomic conditionality strand 1 & 2

Key principles and objectives of macroeconomic conditionality are kept while its implementation aspects are adjusted appropriately: ESF+ and Interreg excluded; no suspensions linked to the excessive deficit procedure as long as the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact is activated; Commission cannot request a programme amendment during the first 2 years, the last year or 2 consecutive years


General regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget



Reimbursement of incurred expenditure. Possibility of flat rate introduced with Omnibus regulation in 2019.

Technical assistance: Member States to decide at Partnership Agreement (PA) level between reimbursement of incurred expenditure or flat-rate for all programmes. Additional TA actions to reinforce the capacity and efficiency of public authorities and bodies, beneficiaries and relevant partners necessary for the effective administration and use of the Funds: financing not linked to costs



6% performance reserve allocated upon performance review in year 2019 and allocation of reserve only to performing investment priorities

Flexibility amount of 50% of 2026 and 2027 allocation, upon assessment by March 2025 of challenges identified in CSRs, progress in implementing National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) and European Pillar of Social Rights, socio-economic situation of Member State and regions, result of evaluations and implementation progress



Selected indicators for allocation of performance reserve purposes For monitoring, reporting on and evaluating programme performance
  All indicators in relation to each specific objective part of it and relevant for performance review


Common result indicators introduced

Partnership agreement



Detailed and modified every year for alignment with OP amendments

Short and concise, indicative amounts, may be included in a programme, only one amendment possible (mid-term review)



16 September 2022


12 September 2022


24 August 2022


19 April 2022


22 April 2022


02 May 2022


05 May 2022


13 May 2022


25 May 2022


25 May 2022


02 June 2022


24 June 2022


06 July 2022


8 July 2022


13 July 2022


14 July 2022


18 July 2022


18 July 2022


19 July 2022


25 July 2022


29 July 2021





Dedicated policy objective 5 to be delivered exclusively through territorial tools, i.e. Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI), Community led local development (CLLD) but also tools supporting initiatives designed by MSs

Community-led local development: EAFRD mandatory

CLLD: if more than one Fund, designation of Lead Fund



Not permitted between Funds.
Non-transferability of resources between categories of regions

At approval of partnership agreement or with programme amendment:

  • Up to 5% of each Fund initial national allocation to other instrument under direct or indirect management (transfer back possible)
  • Up to 5% of each Fund initial national allocation to another CPR Fund
  • Up to 20% each Fund initial national allocation between the ERDF, ESF+ or Cohesion Fund (up to 25% for CZ)
  • Optional transfers from ERDF and ESF+ to Just Transition Fund (JTF) (max 300% of JTF and max 15% of giving Fund), irreversible
  • Up to 5% of initial allocations from Less developed regions (LDR) to Transition regions (TRR), from LDR to More developed regions (MDR) and from TRR to MDR, up to 10% for Member States with GNI < 90% EU. No limit for other way round.


Contributions to InvestEU of up to 2% of the initial allocation for ERDF, ESF+, Cohesion Fund and EMFAF – in the PA
Possibility to further transfer up to 3% after January 2023 through programme amendment
Amounts allocated shall be used for the provisioning of the part of the EU guarantee under the MS compartment and for the InvestEU Advisory Hub



Within Common strategic framework MS to have due regard to strengthening coordination, synergies and complementarities between the ESI Funds and Horizon 2020 or COSME

Provisions on simplified selection for Seal of Excellence and Horizon Europe co-funded partnerships as well as Institutionalised Partnerships



Annual implementation report (AIR), transmission of financial data 3 times per year, annual review meeting, final implementation report No more AIR
Transmission of financial data 5 times per year, annual review meeting, final implementation report
Obligatory publication of all information and data

Each member of the monitoring committee may have a voting right & advisory role of the European Commission

All members of monitoring committee have voting rights, non‑members allowed to participate in its work, & advisory role of the European Commission



  Programmes include communication approach with objectives, target audiences, channels, budget and indicators
  Single branding
List of beneficiaries to be updated every 6 months Mandatory and frequent publication of list of operations and of information of upcoming calls for proposals
  Operations of strategic importance
  Explicit provision on corrections in case beneficiaries do not comply with obligation

Communication strategy
Communication officers and their network
= Kept in 2021-2027





Clear distinction between Member States’ support to beneficiaries and Union contribution to a programme

Reimbursement based on real costs only for Union contribution
Use of simplified cost options only at MS to beneficiaries level
Union contribution reimbursement also through financing not linked to costs & based on Simplified Cost Options (SCO) (clear conditions covered by programme decision) and reduced scope of controls and audits
Empowerment for Commission to set up off-the-shelf methods for Union contribution through SCOs and Financing not linked to costs (FNLTC)
Omnibus regulation extended use of SCOs (e.g. flat-rate Technical Assistance(TA) and payments to beneficiaries based on conditions Financing not linked to costs as form of grant to beneficiaries possible only if applied also for Union contribution
Obligatory use of the simplified cost options for smaller operations not exceeding EUR 100 000 Obligatory use of the simplified cost options as form of grants for smaller operations not exceeding EUR 200 000
Rules for establishment of amounts: draft budget up to EUR 100 000 Rules for establishment of amounts: draft budget up to EUR 200 000
  Fewer limitations for implementation of SCOs when public procurement
Off-the shelf SCOs Continuation of 2014-20 and addition of new ones
SCOs for other EU policies or used by Member States can be used for similar types of operations SCOs for other EU policies or used by Member States can be used for similar types of operations but no requirement for similar type of beneficiary


Clear audit trail



Major projects

Major projects discontinued

Pre-financing: initial and annual, different rates and rules

Pre-financing: only annual pre-financing of 0.5% from 2021 to 2026

Retention at payments: 10%

Retention at payments: 5%

Decommitment: N+3 rule

Decommitment: N+3 rule but N+2 for 2027 commitments (end of period 31/12/2029)



Necessary ex-ante assessment

Ex-ante assessment may be based on an existing or simply update an existing one


Clear eligibility rules for guarantees: total amount of programme contribution paid to or set aside for guarantee contracts

Contribution to EFSI

Contribution to InvestEU

Dedicated assurance and reporting system

Single assurance and reporting system for grants and Financial instruments (FIs)



Designation of authorities

Designation of authorities discontinued and roll-over of existing authorities and systems promoted

Certifying authority

Accounting function can be performed by MA

Yearly submission of accounts mandatory, even if “zero”

Accounts submitted for each accounting year for which payment applications have been submitted


Risk-based sample management verifications


Enhanced proportionate arrangements: reliance on national management systems and rules (good track record and Management and Control System (MCS) functioning, participation in European Public Prosecutor Office (EPPO) framework), reduced statistical sample for audits of operations, application of national rules only, Commission only reviews work of audit authority.
Reversible during the programming period!

Same beneficiary can be audited by different audits (unless below total eligible expenditure of operation as per regulation)

Overall single audit principle to avoid duplication of audits and management verifications of the same expenditure - increased cross-reliance on audits.

Coordination of audit plans of the Commission and MS



  Clear division of tasks between the Member States and the Commission
Obligation to conduct ex ante evaluation for each programme No obligation to conduct an ex ante evaluation by MS

Ex-ante, interim and ex-post evaluation

MS obliged to finalise by end-June 2029 an evaluation for each programme to assess its impact
COM to conduct mid-term evaluation and by end-2024 and a retrospective evaluation by end-2031



Implementing and delegated regulations issued after entry into force of legislation foreseeing empowerments

All available since the entry into force of regulations, secondary legislation reduced to minimum

Partnership agreements 2021-2027

Technical Seminars 2021-2027