European Structural and Investment Funds
Regional support means supporting people directly in their regions to safeguard and enhance their quality of life. Every EU region and city may benefit from the EU Regional Policy. Especially less developed regions are strongly supported. Almost one third of the total EU budget of the 2014-2020 period - about EUR 352 billion – accounts for the Cohesion Policy.
EU Regional Policy has three main funds: the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund (CF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) – these three funds are also called "Structural Funds”. Together with the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) they represent the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds). All ESI Funds target the promotion of the EU 2020 Strategy in EU Member States. This growth strategy covers three priorities - smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The joint, overarching framework for the harmonised use of the ESI Funds in Austria is provided by the partnership agreement of the European Commission with Austria – STRAT.AT 2020. For the 2014-2020 period this agreement provides for an indicative amount of approximately EUR 5.18 billion of ESI funds, determined at current prices in Austria; Europe-wide an amount of EUR 469 billion has been stipulated.
Tasks of the representation of Austria at the European level relating to the EU Regulation (laying down common provisions) on the ESI Funds and the EU Regulations on the European Regional Development Fund fall within the competence of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management main task is to coordinate the management of the ERDF in Austria within the framework of the Austrian Spatial Planning Conference.
For detailed current information on the ESI Funds, please visit the Open Data Portal of the European Commission (see below). It offers data on financing, implementation or achievements and important themes both on EU level and by Member State.