EU contribution to the sustainable development of Europe
The EU cohesion policy is an investment policy. It supports job creation, competitiveness, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable development. To meet these objectives and to take into account the different developmental needs in all regions of the EU, some EUR 351.8 billion – almost a third of the entire EU budget – has been allocated to the cohesion policy for the period 2014–20. Most of these resources are focused on lesser developed countries and regions in Europe. The states that have joined the EU since 2004 (the EU 13) receive about two thirds of these resources, which fund up to 80% of these countries’ public investments. Switzerland’s enlargement contribution, which averages CHF 130 million per year, corresponds to less than 0.5% of the EU’s annual investments in the EU-13 states.
An independent expert opinion on the 2007–13 funding period concluded that the investments made within the framework of the EU cohesion policy in this period will generate approximately EUR 1 billion in additional GDP by 2023.