European Regional Development Fund
The ERDF aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions.
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is allocated by the European Union with a purpose is to transfer money from richer regions (not countries), and invest it in the infrastructure and services of underdeveloped regions. This will allow those regions to start attracting private sector investments, and create jobs on their own.
The ERDF focuses its investments on several key priority areas. This is known as 'thematic concentration':
- Innovation and research;
- The digital agenda;
- Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
- The low-carbon economy.
The ERDF resources allocated to these priorities will depend on the category of region.
- In more developed regions, at least 80 % of funds must focus on at least two of these priorities;
- In transition regions, this focus is for 60 % of the funds;
- This is 50 % in less developed regions.
Furthermore, some ERDF resources must be channelled specifically towards low-carbon economy projects:
- More developed regions: 20%;
- Transition regions: 15%; and
- Less developed regions: 12%.