Economic and social cohesion

Cohesion policy is unique to the European integration process. It aims to help each region achieve its full potential and to bring about a convergence of living standards and prosperity across the European Union. It was one of the original raisons d’être of the European Investment Bank upon its creation in 1958 and continues to be one of its priorities.

While the Cohesion policy covers every EU region, most EU funds target regions with a GDP per capita under 75% of the EU average.

> Download “Cohesion and Regional Development Overview 2020”, a publication giving details about EIB Group’s contribution for cohesion and regional development, including key projects.


How we support cohesion

The EIB complements EU grants with loans and other financial instruments for projects and programmes that support economic, social and territorial cohesion. In addition, the Bank plays an advisory role by helping public authorities in cohesion regions improve the technical and financial quality of their projects, reinforce their institutional capacity and attract funding.

Our annual target for cohesion lending is 30% of all new operations in the EU, Pre-Accession and EFTA countries. In the period 2015-2019, the EIB provided €84.4 billion to projects in EU cohesion regions. For 2019 alone, this amounted to €16.13 billion.

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