Structural Funds

The Structural Funds are the financial instruments of European Union (EU) regional policy, which is intended to narrow the development disparities among regions and Member States, and to promote equal opportunities for all. The Funds participate fully, therefore, in pursuing the goal of economic, social and territorial cohesion. They are expression of solidarity between the Member States and regions of the EU. In practical terms this is achieved by means of a variety of financing operations, principally through the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. Every three years the European Commission presents a report on progress made in achieving economic and social cohesion and on how Community policies have contributed to it. The EU’s Structural Funds are administered by the Commission to finance Community structural aid. They comprise the Guidance Section of the EAGGF for agriculture, the Regional Fund for structural aid under the regional policy, the Social Fund for social policy measures, and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries (FIFG). Financial support from the Structural Funds mainly goes to the poorer regions to strengthen the Union’s economic and social cohesion so that the challenges of the single market can be met right across the EU.