European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Logo European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Photo: EU

The European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF) aims to correct or reduce imbalances between its regions and to strengthen economic and social coherence in the European Union.

ERDF funding is a contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The ERDF pursues two Goals:

  1. Investments in growth and employment (IGE)
  2. European territorial cooperation (ETC)

ERDF funding supports projects in a wide range of areas. It focuses its investments on four key priorities:

  • Research and innovation
  • Information and communication technologies (ICT)
  • Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as
  • Support of a low-carbon economy

This thematic concentration is to be achieved at the national level of all EU Member States but should leave sufficient flexibility to the individual regions.

To implement the EU ERDF objectives Member States prepared multi-annual funding programmes (2014-2020) – named "Operational Programmes" (OP). Among other things, these programmes define key investment priorities, management structures and the allocation of funds. So-called “Managing Authorities” (MA) in Member States handle the programmes. Projects to be supported are selected either by the Managing Authorities themselves or by so-called “intermediate bodies” or, as in the case of ETC programmes, by their Monitoring Committee. Information about the ERDF beneficiaries is available on the below website.

In the 2014-2020 period Austria has ERDF funds of about EUR 793.3 million at its disposal. Of this amount, EUR 536 million have been allocated to the “Investments in Growth and Employment 2014-2020” (IGE) objective and EUR 257.3 million to the cooperation of regions of various EU and non-EU Member States under the “European Territorial Cooperation” (ETC).

The responsibilities for the management of ERDF in Austria are regulated through the agreement according to Article15a of the Austrian Federal Constitutional Law on the management and control system for the implementation of operational programmes under the Investments in Growth and Employment goal and the European Territorial Cooperation goal for the 2014 – 2020 period. The BMNT takes the role of the corresponding “ERDF-fund Ministry” and is responsible for the coordination in ERDF affairs between the European Commission and Austria as well as for the coordination inside Austria.