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Structural and Investment Funds

The European Structural and Investment Funds are funds that work together to support economic, social and territorial cohesion and deliver the objectives of the EU's Europe 2020 strategy to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

There are five funds:

  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF);
  • European Social Fund (ESF);
  • Cohesion Fund (CF);
  • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD);
  • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

There are three funds that fall under the EU's cohesion policy: ERDF, ESF and CF. All EU regions are eligible for ERDF and ESF funding but only less-developed regions are eligible for CF support. Available funding under EU cohesion policy for the period 2014-2020 amounts to €351.8 billion.

Two further funds, the EAFRD (under the common agricultural policy, €85 billion) and EMFF (under the common fisheries policy, €6.5 billion), are specifically targeted at the needs of rural and maritime regions respectively.

Spending of these funds will be complemented by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, announced in November 2014.

All of the above funds pursue the EU's goal of economic, social and territorial cohesion as laid down in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union and Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.