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Cooperation within the EU

Cohesion Policy is the most important policy of the European Union (EU). The funds earmarked for the Cohesion Policy in the 2014-2020 programming period amount to EUR 351,85 billion. Aim of the Cohesion Policy is to reduce disparities among the levels of development in various regions, to reduce underdevelopment of disadvantaged regions and to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion for the purpose of harmonious development of the EU.
For the 2014-2020 programming period, the key instrument of the Cohesion Policy consists in the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) through which applicants may draw funds from the EU budget. ESIF include the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund (CF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The funds earmarked for the Czech Republic amount to almost EUR 24 billon.
On October 6, 2011, the European Commission (EC) published a package of six new regulations. Their final versions were approved on December 17, 2013. In the programming period 2014–2020, they form the legislative basis for aid from the ESIF. The purpose to set these regulations is to ensure uniform rules throughout the EU as well as improving coordination among individual funds and also for programmes at the national level.

The intention of the EU is that these funds contribute, to the greatest as possible, to fulfilling
the EU 2020 Strategy – strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, which
is a long-term vision for the development of the EU. For a better use of these Funds for
the benefit of the EU 2020 Strategy, each country has drawn up a Partnership Agreement, which was assessed and evaluated by the EC. Individual programmes will contribute to its implementation. These documents also specify the distribution of allocated Funds among areas of intervention.
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