One of the principal targets of the European Union is to enhance the Member-States’ economic and social cohesion, with the utmost objective of further reducing differences in the growth level among various regions of the European Union.
The Protocol on Economic and Social Cohesion attached to the Treaty of the European Union confirms the fact that the Community’s mission is to promote cohesion and solidarity between Member-States and determines that a Cohesion Fund shall financially contribute to Environmental Projects and to Infrastructure Projects of common interest in the field of Transports.
The Cohesion Fund was officially created according to EC Regulation 1164/94 of the Council of the European Union on May 14th, 1994, acting as a complement to the Structural Funds, the European Investment Bank and other financial instruments, aiming at helping less affluent Member-States.
Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal constitute the eligible countries for aid deriving from the Cohesion Fund for the period 1993 – 1999 but also for the period 2000 – 2006.
The Cohesion Fund provides financial support in projects related with the environmental field as well as the field of Trans-European networks of transport infrastructure.
The Cohesion Fund can also provide support to draw up preparatory studies connected to the projects and to put into place technical support measures, including information and publicity activities.
No proposed-for-inclusion project can be funded both by the Cohesion Fund and at the same time, by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund – Guidance Section or the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).
The founding regulation of the Fund is in force for the period 2000 – 2006, as it was amended by EC Regulations 1264 and 1265 of the Council of the European Union on June 29th, 1999.
The total number of available resources deriving from the Cohesion Fund and set aside for Greece will rise up to 3.1 billion Euros, which will be allocated on an equal basis to two sectors of intervention, Environment & Transports.