The European Structural Funds are the most important financial instruments in the European Union to strengthen economic and social cohesion between Member States.
The new funding period 2014-2020 started in 2014. In this funding period, the European Structural Funds are aligned with the Europe 2020 strategy designed to promote growth in the European Union for the current ten-year period.
The Europe 2020 strategy is focused on smart, sustainable and integrative growth to overcome weaknesses in employment and growth in Europe. With these three pillars of growth, the European Union is expected to achieve significant advances in employment, productive and social cohesion. The new strategy is also linked to a series of key targets and flagship initiatives designed to strengthen investments in education, research and development as well as stimulating a green, more resource efficient economy and a more competitive industrial sector, increasing the employment rate and reducing poverty.
In the 2014-2020 funding period, the federal state of Berlin can draw on approximately 635 million euros from the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF) and around 215 million euros from the European Social Fund (ESF).
Funds from the previous 2007-2013 funding period may still be utilised until 30 September 2015.