The Council approved the €330 billion cohesion legislative package on 3 March 2021. Representing one third of the EU's seven-year budget (2021-2027), these funds aim to reduce economic disparities and 'is at the heart of European solidarity principle because people can feel its impact on the ground' said Nelson de Souza, on behalf of the Portuguese EU Presidency.
Regional and local projects helping to reach five objectives are to be funded:
- a more competitive and smarter Europe
- a greener, low-carbon transitioning towards a net zero carbon economy and resilient Europe
- a more connected Europe
- a more social and inclusive Europe implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights
- a Europe closer to citizens
30% of the structural funds will be dedicated to the decarbonisation of the economy, making climate-friendly projects EU's priority.
The EOC EU Office is pleased to see that its proposed amendments have been successfully included in the compromise regulations on the European Social Fund (ESF+) and European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund (ERDF/CF) that have been approved by the Council.
'(20) In order to promote social inclusion and combat poverty, particularly among marginalised communities, it is necessary to improve access, also through infrastructure, to social, educational, cultural and recreational services, including sports, taking into account the specific needs of persons with disabilities, children and the elderly.'
'(27a) With a view to fully tapping into the potential of cross-sectorial cooperation and to improving synergies and coherence with other policy fields to achieve its general objectives, the ESF+ should support innovative actions which use sport and physical activity and culture to drive social inclusion, fight youth unemployment, particularly for disadvantaged groups, improve social inclusion of marginalised groups and to promote good health and disease prevention.'
The EOC EU Office very much welcomes that sport has been taken on board in the different funding programmes of the Cohesion package and and will work with sport stakeholders to further unlock the social potential of sport through the ESF+ and ERDF.