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What are Structural Funds?

Currently, four Structural Funds allow the EU to provide non-reimbursable financial assistance to solve economic and social structural problems. The four Structural Funds is not a unique source of financing the EU budget, but each fund cover the specific topics:

  • European Social Fund (ESF)
  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
  • European Agricultural Fund for Regional Development (EAFRD)
  • European Fisheries Fund (EFF)

European Social Fund (ESF) has the task of improving employment opportunities for unemployed and workers in the single market by increasing their mobility and facilitating adaptation to industrial changes, in particular through the vocational training and retraining, as well as recruiting system.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - was founded in 1975 and became the main instrument of Community regional policy. ERDF objectives are primarily to promote development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is delayed and support economic conversion, redevelopment and development areas with structural problems, including declining industrial regions, urban areas in difficulty, areas in crisis, and areas dependent on fishing or service. ERDF can finance infrastructure projects, investment that creates jobs, ICT investment, local development projects, aid for IMM, etc,.

European Fisheries Fund (EFF). In 2007-2013, funds for agriculture and fisheries will operate separately from the structural funds. The two funds will be helpful for the following categories: young farmers and professional training, disadvantaged areas, agriculture-environmental measures, processing and marketing of agricultural products, development and enhancement of the forests, rural development through the services to the population, encouraging local economy, promote tourism and crafts.

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Agriculture and fishing are distinct areas supported the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The overall objective of the National Development Plan, builds on three specific objectives:

  • Increase long-term competitiveness of Romanian economy
  • Developing European standards of basic infrastructure
  • Improvement and more efficient use of local human capital.