European Regional Development Fund

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is a fund allocated by the European Union. Its 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.

European union erdf map en
The European Regional Development Fund, 2007–2013.


During the 1960s, the European Commission occasionally tried to establish a regional fund, but only Italy ever supported it. Britain made it an issue for its accession in 1973, and pushed for its creation at the 1972 summit in Paris. Britain was going to be a large contributor to the CAP and the EEC budget, and sought to offset this deficit by having the ERDF established. They would then be able to show their public some tangible benefits of EEC membership. The ERDF was set to be running by 1973, but the 1973 oil crisis delayed it, and it was only established in 1975 under considerable British and Italian pressure.[1]

It started with a budget of 1.4 billion units of account, much less than the original British proposal of 2.4 billion units of account, but has increased rapidly both proportionally and absolutely in the course of time. Since its creation, it has operated under changing set of rules that were standardised with Single European Act and is now in its 2014–2020 period.

Scope (2014–2020)

As part of its task to promote regional development, the ERDF contributes towards financing the following measures:

Objective convergence
  • Modernising and diversifying economic structures
  • Creating sustainable jobs
  • Stimulating economic growth
  • Attention to urban, remote, mountainous, sparsely populated, and the outermost regions
Regional competitiveness and employment
  • Innovation and knowledge economy (e.g., research and technological development, innovation and entrepreneurship, financial engineering)
  • Environment and risk prevention (e.g., cleaning up polluted areas, energy efficiency, clean urban public transport, risk prevention plans)
  • Access to transport and telecommunications
Territorial cooperation
  • Cross-border economic, social, and environmental activities
  • Transnational cooperation, including bilateral cooperation between maritime regions
  • Inter-regional cooperation, including networking and exchange of experiences between regional and local authorities

ERDF compliance

All awards of ERDF must comply with European Union competition law (including State Aid Law[2] and Government procurement in the European Union). Failure to comply with these legal requirements may result in irregularity rulings[3] which carry financial implications.


One project supported by the Fund is the Golf Club Campo de Golf in the African Spanish exclave Melilla, located right next to the border with Morocco where African refugees regularly attempt to enter the territory of the EU by climbing a triple fence with razor wire. In 2009, Ecologists in Action called the location insulting and asked the EU to investigate why more than €1.1m was given to the project by the ERDF. The petition was dismissed, because the objectives of the golf course to “increase tourism, create jobs and promote sport and sporting values” was compatible with the goals of the ERDF.[4]

See also


  1. ^ George, Stephen (1990). An Awkward Partner: Britain in the European Community. Oxford University Press. pp. 56–67. ISBN 0-19-827563-3.
  2. ^ "State Aid Law Resource". State Aid Law. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  3. ^ "Rules for Application of ERDF". European Union. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  4. ^ "African migrants look down on white-clad golfers in viral photo". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2014.

External links

Edgehill Theological College

Edgehill Theological College is the training institution for ministry in the Methodist Church in Ireland. It was founded in 1926 (ratified by Northern Ireland Parliament Act 1928) out of the Theology Department of Methodist College Belfast.

Edgehill is an affiliate college of the Queen's University Belfast, and offers students registered with QUB - Institute of Theology, study at postgraduate level. Edgehill sponsors candidates to study on the Distance Learning, Foundation Degree in Theology for Ministry, BA in Theology for Ministry or Professional Certificate in Ministry through St John's College, Nottingham validated by the University of Chester.

As part of its reconciliation initiatives, in association with Mater Dei Institute of Education(Dublin City University) and the Society of Missions to Africa, Edgehill facilitates the Exploring Theology Together programme, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

The Methodist Historical Society in Ireland holds a large archive of documents, particularly relating to the rise of Methodism in Ireland in the 18th century. This includes rare documents of a demographic nature, memoirs, and letters, all of which are storied in a temperature controlled room.

European Commissioner for Regional Policy

The Commissioner for Regional Policy is a portfolio within the European Commission. The current Commissioner is Corina Crețu.

The portfolio is responsible for managing the regional policy of the European Union, such as the European Regional Development Fund, which takes up a third of the EU's budget.

European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion

The European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion, ESPON for short, is a European funded programme under the objective of "European Territorial Cooperation" of the Cohesion Policy of the European Union. It is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund - Interreg.

The mission of the programme is to support policy development in relation to the aim of territorial cohesion and a harmonious development of the European territory. Firstly it provides comparable information, evidence, analyses and scenarios on territorial dynamics and secondly it reveals territorial capital and potentials for the development of regions and larger territories thus contributing to European competitiveness, territorial cooperation and a sustainable and balanced development.

The current ESPON 2020 Programme is carried through by 28 European Union Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and the European Commission.

Grande Région

The Grande Région (French) or Großregion (German) programme lies within the Interreg IV A programme of the European Union's European Regional Development Fund. It facilitates cooperation between project partners from the different parts of the Greater Region of Luxembourg: Luxembourg (the country), the Belgian provinces of Luxembourg and Liège, the French Lorraine region as well as the Saarland and large parts of Rhineland-Palatinate. The programme covers the period 2007-2013. Projects approved within the programme receive financial aid of up to 50% of their budget.

Health Science Scotland

Health Science Scotland, formerly the Scottish Academic Health Science Collaboration, is the national academic health science centre of Scotland. Funded by Scottish Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund, HSS is a partnership between 4 of Scotland's medical schools (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen), their sister NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office. It aims to promote excellence in the field of clinical and translational medicine. Health Science Scotland brings together the most senior figures from across Government, academia and the NHS.

Homecoming Scotland 2009

Homecoming Scotland 2009 was a series of events designed to attract people of Scottish ancestry to visit Scotland. The campaign, organised by EventScotland and VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, and part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, claimed that "for every single Scot in their native land, there are thought to be at least five more overseas who can claim Scottish ancestry."

2009 was the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, the national poet. In addition to Burns-related events, the other four themes of the Homecoming were Scotland's culture and heritage, great Scottish minds and innovations, and golf and whisky.

Ilga Manor

Ilga Manor (Latvian: Ilgas muiža) is a manor in the historical region of Selonia, in Daugavpils Municipality, Latvia. Located southeast of Daugavpils near the Belarusian border, it is currently used as a teaching site by the University of Daugavpils. Renovation of the building was completed in 2012 with the help of a grant from the European Regional Development Fund.The manor was built in the 1890s by Baltic German architect Wilhelm Neumann and used as a hunting lodge.

John Paul II Bridge, Puławy

The John Paul II Bridge (New Pulawy bridge) is an arch bridge over the Vistula River in Puławy, Poland.

With its arch main span of 212 metres, it is the longest arch bridge in Poland. The bridge consists of two symmetrical steel arches that rise 38.27 metres (125.6 ft) across the span. The 21.76 metres (71.4 ft) wide deck is hung from the arches with 112 steel rods.The bridge is named after Pope John Paul II and was completed on 11 July 2008.The bridge was built in the first stage of Puławy bypass (12.7 km long) which is part of the future Expressway S12 (Poland) leading towards the Polish border with Ukraine.The European Regional Development Fund had contributed towards the financing of the bridge construction.

Lisbon–Madrid high-speed rail line

Lisbon–Madrid high-speed rail line is a proposed high speed line between the Iberian capitals. It forms part of the Trans-European high-speed rail network, which in turn is one of a number of the European Union's Trans-European transport networks (TEN-T). It was defined by the Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996.In 2012 the project was cancelled officially on the Portuguese side of the project as not being financially viable.In 2016 the European Union's European Regional Development Fund, gave Spain €205.1m towards the €312.1m needed for the track between Navalmoral de la Mata and Mérida, Spain.

Miners Way and Historical Trail

The Miners' Way and Historical Trail is a long-distance trail in Ireland. It is a 118-kilometre (73-mile) long circular route that begins and ends in Arigna, County Roscommon. It is typically completed in five days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Roscommon Integrated Development Company, Roscommon County Council, Leitrim County Council and Sligo County Council. The trail was developed to encourage tourism in the area in the wake of the closure of the Arigna mines in 1990. The route was originally conceived by a local priest, Father Sean Tynan, and built with funding from the European Regional Development Fund. The trail was opened by broadcaster Donncha Ó Dúlaing in July 2000.The trail consists of three looped routes that travel through neighbouring parts of Counties Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo. The Miners' Way is 62 kilometres (39 miles) long and follows paths used by miners working in the Arigna coal mines and makes a circuit via Keadue, Ballyfarnon and Corrie Mountain. The Historical Trail is 56 kilometres (35 miles) long and makes a circuit of Lough Key and Lough Arrow via Keadue, Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Carrowkeel, Castlebaldwin, Highwood and Ballyfarnon. A third trail makes a circuit of Lough Allen via Drumkeeran, Dowra and Drumshanbo.Parts of the Miners' Way and Historical Trail also form part of the Beara-Breifne Way, a walking and cycling route under development, intended to run from the Beara Peninsula, County Cork to Breifne, County Leitrim following the line of Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare's march in the aftermath of the Battle of Kinsale in 1602.

POWER cluster

POWER cluster is a project that aims to establish a business cluster for offshore wind power in the North Sea Region. It is part-funded by the North Sea Region Programme which is part of the transnational branch (IVB) of Interreg, one of the regional policy instruments of the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is the successor of the POWER project funded under Interreg IIIB.POWER cluster is led by the Bremerhaven Economic Development Company in Germany together with 17 other participants from Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Regional policy of the European Union

The regional policy of the European Union (EU), also referred as Cohesion Policy, is a policy with the stated aim of improving the economic well-being of regions in the EU and also to avoid regional disparities. More than one third of the EU's budget is devoted to this policy, which aims to remove economic, social and territorial disparities across the EU, restructure declining industrial areas and diversify rural areas which have declining agriculture. In doing so, EU regional policy is geared towards making regions more competitive, fostering economic growth and creating new jobs. The policy also has a role to play in wider challenges for the future, including climate change, energy supply and globalisation.

The EU's regional policy covers all European regions, although regions across the EU fall in different categories (so-called objectives), depending mostly on their economic situation. In the current 2014–2020 funding period, money is allocated differently between regions that are deemed to be "more developed" (with GDP per capita over 90% of the EU average), "transition" (between 75% and 90%), and "less developed" (less than 75%), and additional funds are set aside for member states with GNI per capita under 90 percent of the EU average in the Cohesion Fund. Between 2007 and 2013, EU regional policy consisted of three objectives: Convergence, Regional competitiveness and employment, and European territorial cooperation; the previous three objectives (from 2000–2006) were simply known as Objectives 1, 2 and 3.

Sadler's Yard

Sadler's Yard is a public square and event space in Manchester, England. It is the first new public space to be created in the city centre since Exchange Square in 1996. It was opened on 4 December 2015.It is located within the NOMA mixed-use redevelopment scheme, between the CIS Tower, New Century House and the Hanover Building, opposite the refurbished Manchester Victoria station.The square was named after James Sadler, a balloonist, chemist and pastry chef who made the first manned balloon flight from Manchester in 1785. It is one of the first public spaces in Britain to be named through online crowd-sourcing, after members of the public were invited to suggest names for the site via social media.The new city square was delivered by NOMA and Manchester City Council and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund. It was designed by landscape architects Planit IE, and constructed by contractors Casey.

Seaplane Harbour

The Seaplane Harbour (Estonian: Lennusadam) is a maritime museum in Tallinn, Estonia, opened in spring 2012. The museum is part of the Estonian Maritime Museum.The museum is located in the Tallinn aeroplane harbour in a building originally constructed as a hangar for seaplanes in the area of Peter the Great's Naval Fortress. The hall has an area of 8000 m². The hall was put out of service during the Soviet era. Its renovation started in 2010. The renovation was funded 70% by the European Regional Development Fund and 30% by the Estonian state.

The main attraction in the museum is the 1936 submarine Lembit, which was ordered by Estonia from the United Kingdom, and has nowadays been renovated to its original 1930s appearance. The museum also has a yellow submarine, which can be used to familiarise oneself with piloting a submarine, and a full-scale replica of a World War I era Short Type 184 seaplane. None of the original seaplanes remain to this day. The wreck of the wooden ship Maasilinn dates to the 16th century and had sailed between Saaremaa and mainland Estonia. The icebreaker Suur Tõll originally sailed for Finland under the name Wäinämöinen. It was conquered from the Russians near Helsinki in 1918 and donated to Estonia from Finland in 1922 according to the Treaty of Tartu.There is also a special exhibit illustrating the background to the sinking of the MS Estonia ferry in 1994.

The attractions in the museum are located in three levels: in the air, on the sea and below the sea. The museum presents the history of the old maritime country Estonia in a modern visual language. The museum has submarine and flight simulators, and a pool where people can sail miniature ships and look at aquatic animals.

Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund

The Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund are financial tools set up to implement the regional policy of the European Union. They aim to reduce regional disparities in income, wealth and opportunities. Europe's poorer regions receive most of the support, but all European regions are eligible for funding under the policy's various funds and programmes. The current Regional Policy framework is set for a period of seven years, from 2014 to 2020.

The Structural Funds are made up of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).

Together with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund make up the great bulk of EU funding, and the majority of total EU spending.

Apart from funds under the Cohesion policy, there are other funds that have the potential to contribute to the regional development. These are:

Funds under the CAP, namely the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

The European fisheries fund (EFF) established for the programming period 2007–2013 with the Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006.The Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund make up one of the largest items of the budget of the European Union.

It is up to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to define the tasks, priority objectives and the organisation of the Structural Funds (the Regional Policy framework), through the ordinary legislative procedure and consulting the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions (leading to the publication of Regulations).

Sections below present information about objectives that have been defined for the programming period, which runs from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. The overall budget for this period is €347bn: €201bn for the European Regional Development Fund, €76bn for the European Social Fund, and €70bn for the Cohesion Fund.

The objectives setup shapes the main focus of interventions (eligible activities and costs) and the overall allocations of funds from the EU budget.

The key indicator for the division of regions under singular objectives is the Gross National Product per capita (GNP p.c.) level. This is subject to criticism based on the fact that GDP p.c. is unable to reflect the real socio-economic reality of regions. Some groups (e.g. Beyond GDP) and organisations propose the creation of a set of alternative indicators that could substitute the GDP and its derivates.

Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Swedish: Tillväxtverket) is a Swedish government agency organized under the Ministry of Enterprise, tasked to be promote entrepreneurship and regional growth, and to implement structural funds programmes. The agency has broad mission. Some efforts are targeted directly to a specific company or prospective business; other times the aim is to influence and develop the business environment, often it's both. The agency has a mandate to manage and distribute funds from the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, to support projects that promote growth and jobs.

Teesquay Millennium Footbridge

Teesquay Millennium Footbridge is a footbridge crossing east-west over the River Tees, in Stockton-on-Tees in the Northeast of England.

The bridge links Teesdale Business Park and the University of Durham, Queen's Campus in Thornaby-on-Tees to the Castlegate (shopping) Centre in Stockton-on-Tees High Street.

The bridge crosses the Teesdale Way cycle route, River Tees and the A1035 Riverside Road. Funding for the bridge was from Stockton-on-Tees Council, the European Regional Development Fund, One NorthEast and English Partnerships.Teesquay Millennium Footbridge is also referred to as the Millennium Bridge.

The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield is an art museum in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, which opened on 21 May 2011. The gallery is situated on the south side of the River Calder and takes its name from artist and sculptor Barbara Hepworth who was born and educated in the city.The gallery was designed by British architect David Chipperfield, who won an architectural design competition managed by RIBA Competitions and was built by Laing O'Rourke with funding from Wakefield Council, Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Yorkshire Forward, the Homes and Communities Agency, and the European Regional Development Fund have also supported the building of the gallery alongside a number of charitable trusts, corporations and private individuals. The Hepworth Wakefield is a registered charity under English law.The gallery cost £35 million to build. Five weeks after opening it had received 100,000 visitors. In May 2012 it celebrated its first birthday, having received over 500,000 visitors in the year. In October 2015, the gallery launched the £30,000 biennial The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture as part of the celebrations marking its 5th anniversary.

West Midlands Collaborative Commerce Marketplace

The West Midlands Collaborative Commerce Marketplace (WMCCM) is an online marketplace that promotes the services of small-medium-sized engineering enterprises (engineering SMEs) in the English county West Midlands. It is financed by the European Regional Development Fund, based within Warwick Manufacuturing Group at the University of Warwick at Coventry. The marketplace was founded by Professor Jay Bal with Dr Mark Swift. As of 2006, 2,000 firms had joined the website.

Common Agricultural Policy
European Regional Development Fund
European Social Fund
Minor programmes

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