The European Regional Development Fund / Cohesion Fund

Supporting cohesion in the European Union

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. In the 2021-2027 programming period, it enables investments in a smarter, greener, more connected and more social Europe that is closer to its citizens. It is complemented by the Cohesion Fund (CF) which supports investment in 15 Member States in transport, the environment, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The new ERDF/CF Regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1058) entered into force on 1 July 2021.

In the 2021-2027 period, cohesion policy will support, through its investments, the following five policy objectives (POs):

  • PO1: a Smarter Europe, through innovation, digitisation, economic transformation and support to small and medium-sized businesses.
  • PO2: a Greener, carbon free Europe, implementing the Paris Agreement and investing in energy transition, renewables and the fight against climate change.
  • PO3: a more Connected Europe, with strategic transport and digital networks.
  • PO4: a more Social Europe, delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights and supporting quality employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare.
  • PO5: a Europe closer to citizens, by supporting locally-led development strategies and sustainable urban development across the EU.

The majority of the investment will target the first two POs and will also continue to promote job creation in small and medium enterprises, provide support to the health sector, improve preparedness related to unexpected emergencies, and fully develop the economic potential of tourism and culture sectors.

With the inclusion of an additional EUR 47.5 billion from the Next Generation EU fund, the EU has allocated more than EUR 370 billion to its economic, social and territorial cohesion policies for the 2021-2027 period. With the enhanced flexibility for use of financial instruments under the new Common Provisions Regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1060), including in combination with grants, it is expected that Member States will increasingly use guarantee, loan and equity investments for the implementation of their Operational Programmes.

The package of Cohesion Policy legislation also includes the new regulation on the Just Transition Fund (Regulation EU 2021/1056) which is part of the European Green Deal and the first pillar of the Just Transition Mechanism (JTM). It aims to alleviate the social and economic costs resulting from the transition towards a climate-neutral economy, through a wide range of activities directed mainly at diversifying the economic activity and helping people adapt in a changing labour market.

For further information, please visit the ERDF webpage, the CF webpage, and the financial instruments in Cohesion Policy webpage on the European Commission's website.

Recent videos

Audit of financial instruments in the 2021-2027 programming period video thumbnail

Audit of financial instruments in the 2021-2027 programming period

3 April 2024   about 2 hrs

Watch the full recording of the webinar 'Audit of Financial Instruments in the 2021-2027 Programming Period', jointly organised by the EC (DG REGIO) and the EIB. Held on Thursday, 21 March 2024, this online event focused on the updated audit methodology, system audits, audit and control of financial instruments design and setup, verification of expenditure for eligible purposes, payments, and sampling techniques.

Financial instruments for innovation in La Réunion

Financial instruments for innovation in La Réunion

15 December 2023   about 2 mins

The ‘La Financière Région Réunion’ (FRR) fund of funds has been set up in the La Réunion region of France with resources from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with a mandate to implement and manage two financial instruments to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), including micro-enterprises.

Watch this video to discover how the initiative helped Engineering and 3D printing micro-enterprise, AGONOV, grow their company and FinTech SME, HUB2, improve interoperability between mobile money wallets across Africa.

Workshop ‘Implementation of grants and financial instruments combined in a single operation' video thumbnail

Implementation of grants combined with financial instruments in a single operation

6 July 2023   about 2.5 hrs

Explore insights from the online thematic fi-compass workshop on the 'Implementation of grants and financial instruments combined in a single operation', organised by the European Commission's DG REGIO and the European Investment Bank. Delve into discussions on key topics such as the application of financial instrument rules to grant components, State aid considerations, and management costs and fees. Gain valuable knowledge and best practices shared by practitioners during the workshop, alongside an extended Q&A session addressing various aspects of combining financial instruments with grants.


Nuventura product - HERO

A leap towards sustainability

14 December 2023

Thanks to the venture capital (VC) support from IBB Ventures, backed by European Regional Development Fund resources, Nuventura, a Berlin-based start-up is spearheading a green revolution.

A driving force for change

A driving force for change

5 May 2023

Thanks to the i-Run by BFC financing solution, Emmanuel Lear was able to change his career path, retrain, and open the very first open-air karting track in St Pierre, La Réunion. And the cherry on top: Mr. Lear’s go-kart business uses thermal and electric karts.


HUB2 boosts digital banking in Africa

5 May 2023

Thanks to a EUR 1.25 million equity investment from ESSOR PME La Réunion, HUB2, a Reunionese based SME was able to develop an Application Programming Interface enabling interoperability between mobile money wallets in Western Africa and answer the huge demand for more connectivity in mobile banking and banking systems in Africa.