In order to strengthen its economic, social and territorial cohesion the European Union strives towards reducing disparities between development levels of various regions, as well as backwardness of the regions which are in the least favourable position. By accessing the European Union as a full member state, Croatia has also become the beneficiary of EU structural instruments.
Five main funds are combined together in order to support economic development throughout the EU member states, in line with the objectives of Europe 2020 Strategy. The aforementioned funds are European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF), Cohesion Fund (CF), Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
Each region of the EU can benefit from ERDF and ESF. However, only less developed regions can obtain support from Cohesion Fund.
European Regional Development Fund – its objective is to strengthen the economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances among its regions. ERDF also pays special attention to concrete territorial characteristics. Its actions are formed in a way to reduce economic, ecological and social problems in urban areas, with a specific focus on sustainable urban development. Moreover, ERDF is generally focused on infrastructural investments, investments in production with the aim of creating workplaces, local development and small and medium size enterprises development.
European Social Fund – is intended for reducing disparities between prosperity and standard of living among the EU member states and their regions; thus contributing to promotion of economic and social cohesion. ESF is directed towards financing activities which promote employment in the EU and it also provides assistance to companies and workforce in successful coping with global challenges. Moreover, its purpose is investing in people, with focus on possibilities for employment and education across the European Union, and improving the position of the most vulnerable population at risk of poverty.
Cohesion Fund – is intended for the EU member states whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is less than 90 % of the EU average. It is intended for reducing economic and social disparities, as well as promoting sustainable development. Its purpose is also financing large infrastructural projects in the field of transport, energy and environmental protection, with the aim of achieving economic and social cohesion of the European Union.
|Strategija Europa 2020|