Commission adopted a legislative package for cohesion policy for the period from 2014 until 2020

The European Commission adopted a legislative package for cohesion policy for the period from 2014 until 2020 which is designed to boost growth and jobs across Europe by targeting EU investment on Europe's Growth and Jobs Agenda ("Europe 2020"). With this package, Commission lays foundations to boost impact of cohesion investments after 2013.

The legislative package for cohesion policy adopted by the Commission includes an overarching regulation setting out common rules governing the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). With this, the Commission intends to create a better combination of funds for a stronger impact of EU action. In addition, the package contains three specific regulations for the ERDF, the ESF and the Cohesion Fund; two regulations dealing with the European territorial cooperation goal and the European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC); two regulations on the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) and the Programme for Social Change and Innovation; and a communication on the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF). These proposals will bolster in particular social investment, empowering people to face future challenges of the labour market. Regarding to the use of EGF, MEPs already proposed to extend it as one measure in fighting against crisis until end of 2013 and even beyond this date.

With the new legislative package adopted by the Commission, new Partnership Contracts will be signed between Commission and Member States. They will set clear targets and set aside a financial performance reserve to reward regions who do best in reaching their goals. To ensure that the impact on growth and jobs of EU investments is not undermined by unsound macro-economic policies or by weak administrative capacity Commission can ask to review programmes or suspend the funding if remedial action is not taken.

The Council and the European Parliament will now discus these proposals with a view to adoption by the end of 2012, to allow for the start of a new generation of cohesion policy programmes in 2014. In parallel, negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework for the whole EU budget will continue. The Commission has already proposed to allocate €336 billion for cohesion policy instruments in 2014-2020.