The Future of EU Funds

Friday, November 17, 2023
Parallel Session 3
3:50 PM - 5:20 PM


The world will look different in the future. The EU working-age population will decrease by some 15 million (-7%) by 2040; at the same time, the share of the working-age population will decline from over 59% today to 52%. Skills shortages, including in strategic sectors, are likely to continue rising, and social inclusion policy will be of increasing strategic economic significance. A new geopolitical reality and the ongoing industrial revolution centred on clean technology, digitalisation and the expansion of AI have also started reshaping past trends, emphasising the need for a holistic approach to be reflected in the use of EU funding, and in particular of cohesion policy funds.  

Although its effectiveness in delivering on EU objectives has been consistently demonstrated, cohesion policy is indeed sometimes perceived as a mere redistribution policy and its results are not always appropriately understood. Therefore, it is important to (re)assess whether the scope of EU policy actions is sufficient to build effective adaptation capabilities in all territories and categories of population. It is also crucial to question the way our policies deliver, and on how EU funds can have an impact on the ground, including on how people can find their place in society 

The workshop will focus on the future of EU funds, and draw from the successes of the past and needs for the post 2027 period. Possible trends/options discussed so far by the Group of high level specialists on the future of cohesion policy will also be discussed, helping sketching out the current debate and shaping the main areas of reflection.