European Union Cohesion Policy ] 2021-2027 programs expected to create 1.3 million jobs in the EU
Política de cohesión de la Unión Europea ] Se espera que los programas 2021-2027 creen 1,3 millones de puestos de trabajo en la UE
Cohesion policy funding in 2021-2027 is expected to support the creation of 1.3 million jobs and increase EU GDP by 0.5% on average by the end of the decade, and up to 4% in some Member States. It will also contribute to many common public goods, bringing tangible and concrete benefits to European citizens, regions and cities. These are some of the conclusions of a report on the results of cohesion policy programming 2021-2027 published yesterday.
To this end, cohesion policy will release a total volume of investments of EUR 545 billion during this period, of which EUR 378 billion are financed by the EU. These investments will promote lasting socio-economic convergence, territorial cohesion, a social and inclusive Europe and a smooth and just double ecological and digital transition.
A smarter and more competitive Europe
Cohesion policy strongly supports research and innovation and addresses the digital divide. For example, 83 000 researchers will have access to better research facilities and 725 000 companies will be supported in terms of innovation and smart growth.
The policy aims to support the modernization and digitization of public services (involving 22 500 public administrations) and the digital transformation of businesses. It is also supporting the development of digital capabilities and infrastructure, in particular by connecting 3.1 million households to high-speed mobile networks and fixed digital infrastructure.
Toward a net-zero carbon economy and a more resilient Europe
Green investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation are focused on the European Green Pact targets of reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
To this end, cohesion policy supports projects in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energies that are particularly important for implementing key actions under the REPowerEU plan. For example, 32 million m2 of public buildings and 723,000 households are expected to benefit from energy efficiency improvements and 9,555 MW of additional renewable energy capacity will be installed.
To support climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, the policy will support the construction of 229,000 hectares of new green infrastructure.
Towards a just transition
Cohesion policy helps the people and territories most affected by the transition to climate neutrality to ensure that no one is left behind.
It will therefore support nearly 39,000 businesses to embrace this transition. In particular, more than 5,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from investments in new skills for smart specialization, industrial transition and entrepreneurship. Up to 120,000 unemployed people will benefit from labor market support measures and almost 200,000 people will gain new skills.
A more social and inclusive Europe
To ensure social and inclusive growth, and in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, cohesion funds support people, also in their professional lives. This includes skills development and lifelong learning, crucial priorities of this European Year of Skills, for at least 6.5 million unemployed people. This will help to achieve the EU's 2030 target of at least 60% of all adults participating in training activities each year.
Special attention is given to improving the integration and inclusion of more than three million people, including 600,000 people belonging to marginalized groups such as the Roma. The funds will support 1.7 million pupils in primary and secondary education, and nearly 3.5 million people are expected to study in new or modernized schools.
A more connected Europe
Cohesion policy will support efficient transport systems at all territorial levels, such as rail, one of the safest and cleanest modes of transport: 3 900 km of Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) rail lines will be built or upgraded.
Finally, thanks to programs across the EU and its neighboring countries under European Territorial Cooperation, funds will be invested in joint projects involving more than two million people, 40 299 organizations and 25 456 SMEs.
Cohesion policy is the EU's main long-term investment instrument. It contributes to strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion in the EU, corrects imbalances between countries and regions and responds to the Union's political priorities.
Cohesion policy is implemented through several funds:
- The European Regional Development Fund, which invests in the social and economic development of all EU regions and cities.
- The Cohesion Fund, which invests in the environment and transport in less prosperous EU countries.
- The European Social Fund Plus, which supports employment and creates a fair and socially inclusive society in the EU.
- The Just Transition Fund, which supports the regions most affected by the transition to climate neutrality.
The policy objectives are as follows:
- a more competitive and smarter Europe;
- a more resilient and greener, low-carbon Europe in transition to zero net emissions;
- a more connected Europe, improving mobility;
- a more social and inclusive Europe;
- a Europe closer to citizens with a bottom-up and local approach, empowering sub-regional territories and local communities to identify their own priorities and projects in an integrated and participatory manner;
- a just transition towards the Union's 2030 energy and climate objectives and a climate-neutral Union economy by 2050, on the basis of the Paris Agreement.