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Research funding


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The cohesion policy is the European Union strategy put in place to ensure a harmonic development of the European Union as a whole. It is aimed at reducing large economic, social and territorial inequalities between the European regions.

The primary objective of the 2014 - 2020 cohesion policy is to invest in jobs and growth. In addition, the cohesion policy aims to improve European territorial cooperation through investments.  For example, the cohesion policy wants to contribute to the realisation of the Europe 2020-strategy of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

To achieve these objectives, member states receive support via the European Structural and Investment Funds: The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF). Every European region is entitled to support from the ERDF and the ESF. Only lesser developed regions receive support from the CF. Belgium, being a more developed region, can therefore count on support from the ERDF and the ESF. The ERDF finances ERDF programmes and the Interreg programmes. The ESF finances the ESF programmes. 


Goals Type of region Funds



Investing in growth and jobs

Lesser developed regions

Transition regions

Cohesion Fund

More developed regions ERDF
European territorial cooperation    ERDF
Cohesion policy
ERDF programme
Interreg programme
ESF programme