Cohesion policy is the policy behind the hundreds of thousands of projects all over Europe that receive funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund (Cohesion Fund applies to EU Member States which have a GDP lower than 90 % of the EU-27).
Economic and social cohesion – as defined in the 1986 Single European Act – is about ‘reducing disparities between the various regions and the backwardness of the least-favoured regions’. The EU's most recent treaty, the Lisbon Treaty, adds another facet to cohesion, referring to ‘economic, social and territorial cohesion’.
The idea is that cohesion policy should also promote more balanced, more sustainable ‘territorial development’ – a broader concept than regional policy, which is specifically linked to the ERDF and operates specifically at regional level.
The BSSSC Board has decided to maintain a rapporteurship on cohesion policy for the 2017-2018 Eastern Norway County Network Chairmanship. Land Brandenburg, Germany in cooperation with the ad hoc Working Group on Cohesion Policy are the responsible rapporteurs on this area.