The European Union Funds include a wide range of financial instruments. They are used primarily to support the economic growth of Member States, improve the education level of their citizens and reduce social disparities.
EU regional policy
The European Union's regional policy, also called economic and social cohesion policy (ESC) or in short cohesion policy, reflects the principle of solidarity inside the European Union, where richer countries contribute to the development of poorer countries and regions to improve the quality of life of citizens of the entire European Union.
According to EU regulations, the ESC policy is to promote harmonious and sustainable development of economic activities, a high level of employment, and protection and improvement of the environment in the territory of the EU. The third pillar of the ESC is territorial cohesion, i.e. promoting territorial interdependence and cohesion of the Union. In this context, cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation also plays an important role. In accordance with the third and fourth cohesion report of the European Commission, regional policy focuses on the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy. Creating an open, flexible and coherent society with high employment is at centre stage together with emphasis on sustainable growth, innovation and competitiveness.
The ESC policy, alongside the agricultural policy, is one of the most important European agendas and the European Union spends more than one third of its common budget on it.
The EU implements the objectives of its regional and structural policies in seven-year cycles, for which the Member States prepare always new programming documents. These documents specify the budget and define and set new objectives and priorities which the Member States aim to achieve and fulfil in accordance with the basic EU strategic documents in the given period. So far, the Czech Republic has fallen under 3 programming periods:
Coordination of drawing EU funds in the Czech Republic
The Ministry of Regional Development
was appointed, based on Government Resolution No. 198/2006, the National Coordination Authority
(shortened as NCA) in 2006. The NCA is the central methodological and coordination authority of the economic and social cohesion policy, it is a partner for the European Commission for the CR, an administrator of the monitoring system, a methodological authority in the area of implementation and financial flows, and a central authority for the area of publicity and building of absorption capacity.