Cohesion Open Data Blog
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Welcome to our Cohesion Open Data Blog!
On this blog we document and discuss the key developments on our award winning Open Data Platform.
Our platform currently provides access to unique data on the monitoring of investment plans, implementation and achievements of a significant share of the 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 EU Budget. Depending on the budget period information is available on the following funds
- Cohesion policy funds - the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF and ESF+), the Cohesion Fund and the Just Transition Fund;
- the EU Agricultural and Rural Development Fund (EAFRD);
- the EU Maritime, Fisheries and Acquaculture Fund (EMFF / EMFAF).
- the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI) and Internal Security Fund (ISF)
We also publish data on the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF), the Instrument for Pre Accession (IPA), the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD).
Please also check out the additional user resources below. The 2015-2020 blog archive is available here.
- A new wave of data stories on the investment priorities under Cohesion policy 2021-2027 will be published in the first semester 2023. These will include data stories on climate action, biodiversity tracking and support to gender equality measures, amongst others.
- A 2021-2027 dataset on EU payments will be published.
2022 financial data
- The financial data from 31/12/2022 was notified to the Commission at the end of January 2023 and was published in early March 2023. Find out more and explore the data using the story across.
- Member States have reported Cohesion policy spending in 2022 of EUR 74 billion. The total cohesion expenditure in the period 2014-2020 now reaches EUR 405 billion. This corresponds to 76% of the total planned investment of EUR 532 billion.
- The acceleration in the absolute level of spending was supported by the flexibilities that were adopted to allow the reallocation of resources for emergency measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic and the energy crisis.
2022 Annual Summary of Implementation for the 2014-2020 programmes
- The 2022 Annual Summary report on the implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014-2020 programmes was adopted in January 2023. Check the package on this web page.
- We also published on #CohesionOpenData the 2021 progress towards the programme targets (the fund pages for 2014-2020 show updated information for each ESI Fund) and the latest Cohesion Policy funds' financial data from 30 September 2022.
- The image on the left, below, sums up the main achievements at the end of 2021. The data story on the right shows the cohesion policy investment progress in more detail over the 2014-2020 period.
2021-2027 programme pages are available!
The dedicated page to search for 2021-2027 programmes is available here: https://cohesiondata.ec.europa.eu/programmes
The page allows users to search for national, regional and cross border programmes
- By country
- By fund
- By period
- Using free text (i.e. to search for regional programmes, key words in programme short titles, 3rd countries, etc.)
In the 3 screenshots below you can see that
- The list of programmes relevant to each EU-27 country appears as a tab on the Country pages.
- The list shows the relevant National, regional and Interreg programmes for each country.
- Each programme has a dedicated page with the planned EU and national financing and common indicators with the specific targets set.
2022 - Coronavirus indicator update; Financial data end 2021; supporting the UN SDGs; #EURegioDataStories regional analysis; #Kohesio is live; data published on 2021-2027 PAs and programmes
The data story across linked to analysis in the Cohesion Report is published.
Given the ageing baby boom in the EU, its population is very likely to start shrinking in the coming years because natural change will become too negative to be offset by migration. As a result more and more regions will have a shrinking population in the future. Already today, one out of three EU residents lives in a shrinking region. In eastern EU regions, this is the case for two out of three residents.
The current age structure of the population, the increasing life expectancy and the relatively low fertility rates in the EU indicate that virtually all regions will experience a big increase in the population 65 and over and a reduction in young and working age population. Regions will have to adapt their services and infrastructure to this changes in the total population and their age distribution. Also firms will have to adapt to a shrinking working age population by investing more in labour augmenting and labour saving technologies.
The Cohesion Open Data Platform was extended on 10 October to present the 2021-2027 period and adopted programmes!! This is a major exercise in transparency, sharing the policy choices of the Member States, working with the EC, the objectives that they intend to reach with EU funds and their expected achievements.
- The presentation of EUR 308 billion under the IJG goal from 22 adopted Partnership Agreements is in the interactive datastory across. Twenty two partnerships are adopted representing 83% of available cohesion policy budget.
- Charts and data from 150 adopted cohesion policy programmes covering more than EUR 110 billion in EU financing are presented on the main platform with pages and interactive charts presenting the data by theme, country and fund as set out below;
- The platform will be updated with details from adopted programmes on a daily basis. The full investment picture should be available in early 2023 once all programmes are formalised.
- The mid year financial data for cohesion policy financial execution as at 30 June 2022 was published in the week of 26 September. Total spending by EU cohesion policy programmes in 2022 to 30/6/2021 amounted to EUR 32.2 billion (that compares to EUR 37 billion expenditure in the first semester of 2021). The data story across provides an interactive guide to the data. Explore the data at national and programme using the interactive charts in the datastory .
- This data also covers progress in implementing the EUR 40 billion REACT-EU allocations adopted in 2021. See "Finances Implemented" on the REACT-EU thematic page.
As part of the preparation for the relaunch of the platform later in 2022 the following three tools to support users have been updated by our team:
- Cohesion Open Data - user guide showing how to download data, make a free user account, use Odata connectors, and much more;
- User guide to visualizing Cohesion Open Data showing how to create pie charts, bar charts and use the chart design template.
In preparation for the 2014-2020 evaluation of regional policy the national, regional and Interreg programme monitoring systems have been examined and rich data on the funded operations has been collected. The data story below describes this results of the study and provides links to descriptions of the data and to summary datasets.
- The second in the series of #EURegioDataStories linked to the 8th Cohesion report explores the innovation gaps amongst the EU's regions.
- To coincide with the Cohesion Forum on 17-18 March we have started a series of interactive data stories to present specific regional analyses linked to the 8th Cohesion report.The first data story allows readers to explore the regional impact of COVID 19 through comparison of excess deaths at regional level. Explore the analysis in the story across.Over 2022 we will launch a series of such data stories with updated data when available. Follow the debates online: #EURegioDataStories - #CohesionReport - #CohesionForum
Kohesio is live!!
The Commission has launched ‘Kohesio' - https://kohesio.ec.europa.eu/ - a public online platform gathering extensive the information on over 1.5 million projects in all 27 Member States financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF). It is the first time that such a comprehensive public platform of project data is created. It was set up in close cooperation with managing authorities in the different Member States and regions.
- Standardised data on 1.5 million projects from the 2014-2020 funding period;
- Standardised data on the 500,000 project beneficiaries and the state of implementation of the projects;
- Data covering more than 300 programmes in the EU-27;
- An interactive map to search the data geographically;
- translations in all EU languages;
- The possibility to explore the underlying EU knowledge graph and download the data.
2021 Financial data
- Member States have reported Cohesion policy spending in 2021 of EUR 81 billion. The total cohesion expenditure in the period 2014-2020 now reaches EUR 331 billion. This corresponds to 63% of the total planned investment of EUR 522 billion.
- The acceleration in the absolute level of spending was supported by the flexibilities that were adopted to allow the reallocation of resources for emergency measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
- The total planned investment at the end of 2021 also includes the allocation of NextGenerationEU resources of EUR 39 billion EUR under REACT-EU added during the year. The remaining EUR 10 billion in REACT-EU is being decided in 2022.
- The financial data from 31/12/2021 was notified to the Commission at the end of January 2022 and was published in early March 2022. Find out more and explore the data using the story across.
- That financial data data is used for tracking EU investments in climate action and other cross cutting objectives. Use the interactive data story across. It shows that, with Eur 56.6 billion in EU support planned for climate action Eur 37.6 bn is reported spent. Two years are left to complete investments.
- The interactive data story across maps investments under cohesion policy 2014-2020 to the United Nations sustainable development goals. It shows that Cohesion policy, funded by the European regional fund, European social Fund and the Cohesion Fund, is strongly aligned with the UN SGDs. The policy provides direct support to 11 of the 17 SDGs.
Discover more across.
- The data story across provides an overview of the Coronavirus specific programme indicators introduced first in 2020.
During 2021 the Commission services received a first report on implementation. After quality checks, the ERDF 2020 implemented values were published in December 2021 along with the 2021 and latest targets set under CRII and REACT-EU decision.
Use the global filter in the datastory to separate the REACT-EU or CRII related values.
- The texts on the country pages have been updated with the total EU budget available and the recalculation of the per capita EU funding following the additional resources allocated in 2021 and 2022 under REACT-EU and the Rural Development programmes. Check the updated texts: https://cohesiondata.ec.europa.eu/countries
- The REACT-EU data story across has been updated with the 2020 allocations (current prices) available to Member States to foster resilience and the crisis response. The data story will be continously updated as the 2022 allocations are formally added to national and regional programmes.
The common indicator achievement targets have also been added to this #cohesionopendata page: https://cohesiondata.ec.europa.eu/themes/13
2021 - 3rd User survey; REACT-EU programming; First open data on 2021-2027 - metadata on categorisation and indicators; Tracking ESF participants; #EURegioGender indices; Annual Summary Report 2021
- The 2021 Annual Summary Report on the ongoing implementation of the ESI Funds to end-2020 was adopted in December 2021. Check the package on this web page.
- The report was accompanied with the publication on #CohesionOpenData on the progress to the end of 2020 towards the programme targets (including the specific indicators monitoring the response to the Coronavirus pandemic) and the latest financial data under cohesion policy from 30 September 2021.
- The publication of the 2021 summary of data on the implementation of ESI Funds financial instruments is accompanied by the publication of the updated data story across supported with detailed open data published from the 2020 annual programme reports.
- From October 2021, as part of the preparation for the launch of the new period, we are migrating to the hashtag #CohesionOpenData when promoting our open data platform. The hashtag #ESIFOpenData may still be used when referring specifically to data from the 2014-2020 period (N.B. the term ESI Funds is no longer present in the 2021-2027 legislation).
- On 13 October the 2021 EU Regional Gender monitor was launched during the EU Week of Regions and Cities 2021. It was developed by the Joint Research Centre and DG REGIO. Its launch was supported with the interactive open data guide across.The #EURegioGender monitor reveals in which EU regions women are achieving more and in which women are at a disadvantage compared to men using 2 indices: the Female Achievement Index (FemAI) and the Female Disadvantage Index (FemDI).
The two indices are calculated for 235 EU regions at the NUT2 level and are based on 33 indicators grouped into seven domains.The the two indices are set out in this working paper.
- The mid year financial data for cohesion policy financial execution as at 30 June 2021 was published in early September. The data story across provides an interactive guide to the data.
Total spending by EU cohesion policy programmes in 2021 to 30/6/2021 amounted to EUR 37 bn. Explore the data at national and programme using interactive charts.
For the first time progress in implementing the first REACT-EU allocations adopted by 30 June 2021 are also included. See "Finances Implemented" on the REACT-EU thematic page.
- On 5 July the first detailed financial data on the 2021-2027 period was formally adopted in 3 Commission Implementing Decisions. the Commission adopted decisions breakdown of the EU budget allocations by county and EU fund and formalise the designation of NUTS2 regions by category of region. The detailed initial EU allocations in current prices are presented in the data story across showing the EU allocations to different cohesion policy goals and funds in a series of interactive charts.The 2021-2027 legislation allows for transfers from the initial national allocations between EU funds and also categories of region. These transfers may take place and can be decided during the approval of the Member States' partnership agreements, as well as during both approval and amendment of national and regional programmes.
- The adoption of the legislation was closely followed on 8 July 2021 by the publication of a Commission staff working document - SWD(2021)198 - describing the approach to performance, monitoring and evaluation of programmes funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund (CF) and the Just Transition Fund (JTF) for the period 2021-2027.The document is intended primarily for national and regional programme authorities. It illustrates how the new legislation provides for a systematic approach to performance and sets out the context in which the common output and result indicators in the fund regulations will be used. The full descriptions of the common output and result indicators are annexed to the working document (as well as in this open dataset) in order to guide the programmes in their use, collection and reporting of reliable performance monitoring data.
- The legislation for the 2021-2027 programming period entered into force on 1 July 2021. The legislation describes the objectives of the funds as well as the elements of programming. On performance and monitoring the legislation requires two specific forms of structured data exchange that will later feature on #CohesionOpenData:
- The categorisation information system used for financial inputs used for monitoring, climate action and green tracking and multiple other purposes (Common Provision Regulation (EU) 2021/1060 - Annex 1): This open dataset provides the metadata of the categorisation dimensions and codes; this data story provides a description of the 2021-2027 categorisation system;
- The ERDF/CF/ JTF common output and result indicators to be used in programming and in monitoring are listed in the fund regulations. (ERDF/CF Regulation (EU) 2021/1058 - Annex 1; JTF Regulation (EU) 2021/1056 - Annex 3.)See the bullet above for more information on the definition of the indicators.
- In 2014-2020, the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) are active in their support of labour market, education, training and social inclusion measures. The actions have touched the lives of Europeans across the region, with 36 million ESF/YEI participants registered by the end of 2019 – over half being women. Over 4.5 million people have found a job thanks to ESF and YEI support. The story across allows exploration of the ESF's main achievements, main target groups and successful outcomes.
- We have published a detailed data story on the ongoing adoption of REACT-EU 2021 allocations of nearly EUR 40 billion - see below. The data story expands on the overview of REACT-EU additional financing on the REACT-EU theme page.This press release gives more context.
Coronavirus indicator aggregation
- Linked to the EU cohesion policy response to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic the Commission launched in 2020 two initiatives 1) the CRII/CRII+ emergency response in 2020 and 2) additional resources in 2021+2022 under REACT-EU. This story allows aggregation of all coronavirus indicator values across both initiatives to give a more complete picture.
Cohesion policy investments in footpaths and cycle paths (or lanes) are predominantly made in urban areas. Typically, the renovation of new public transport inter modal hubs involve new footpath layouts, bicycle parks and access.
That said, cycle paths and footpaths may also be built linked to eco tourism initiatives, making rural areas more attractive and safely accessible and to interconnect border regions. Explore our open data on investment in the story across.
- A data guide for students and researchers!!
We are frequently approached by users for data on cohesion policy financing broken down using the Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics - the NUTS classification. Unfortunately, the Commission does not have EU budget data systematically and uniformly available at NUTS 2 / NUTS 3 level.That said some options are available to do territorial analysis set out in the story to the right.
- The 2020 Annual Summary Report was adopted on 28 April 2021 along with a synthesis of recent evaluations (see this webpage). Linked to the publication the following changes were made on the Open Data Platform:
The end-2019 achievement values for common indicators were published along with the end-2020 targets (reflecting reprogramming linked mainly to the CORONAVIRUS response). See the guide to ERDF/CF common indicators.
- A new Cohesion Policy page was published showing an overview of the policy funded by the ERDF, the ESF/YEI and the Cohesion Fund;
- With the React-EU legislation adopted on 23/12/2020 (text) we have published details of the adopted allocations to programmes under a new REACT-EU page - "Fostering crisis repair and resilience". The adopted amount will evolve over 2021 and 2022.
- On World Water day 2021 we published the data story - below left - on cohesion policy support to clean water (drinking water and waste water treatment).
- We published the story - below right - on cohesion policy support to rural regions on 26 March. Substantial cohesion policy support has been channeled to rural areas in the period 2014-2020, with the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund alone investing more than EUR 40 billion in rural areas. The intensity of this support, in terms of funding per person per year, is systematically higher in rural regions than in other areas. However, this understates the contribution of Cohesion policy to rural areas, because reporting options on the location of investments are much broader than only rural or urban. Read on below!
- On 1 March we published the Cohesion Policy end-2020 financial data, with detailed categorisation data. This interactive tool to the right the #cohesionpolicy aggregation of spending data and allows exploration of country and programme data. See the discussion on Twitter under @REGIOEvaluation.
Member States have accelerated their Cohesion policy investments in 2020 by €70 billion, increasing their total cohesion expenditure to €251 billion. This corresponds to 52% of the planned €482 billion in the 2014-2020 programming period. At the same time, the financial allocation to projects reached the maximum of available funding.
“These indicators show that we are on the right track in the Cohesion policy implementation and that by 2023, the end of the programming period, we will be able to make the most of the resources available under Cohesion policy.” - Commissioner Ferreira - March 2021
- The annual categorisation data is used in climate, biodiversity and air quality tracking. Checkout the latest data in the tracking tools below. At the end of 2019 the share of 2014-2020 ERDF/CF total EU planned support allocated to climate action was 21.1% of the EU budget of the 2 funds (EUR 55.3 billion). By the end of 2020, the total planned amount had fallen to EUR 52.5 bn (with the ERDF/CF planned climate action share now at 19.6% - EUR 51.4 billion). This was principally as a result of the reallocations linked to the 2020 CRII/CRII+ initiative to support the coronavirus pandemic response, in particular to reallocations to reinforce the immediate public health response and support to SMEs. (The CRII/CRII+ initiative did not introduce extra EU financing but opened the possibility to reallocated EU funding - find out more.)
Under the REACT-EU initiative the objective is that 25% of the additional EU financing be committed to climate action, which should redress the reduction in climate action seen in 2020 linked to the immediate pandemic response.
Several interactive data stories were updated or published:
- A new data story on regional policy support to railways was launched linked to the European Year of Rail.
- The data story on the EU Solidarity fund was been updated with data on the supported applications from 2019 and 2020. The data story charts have been supplemented and refreshed with additional interactive functions to help exploration.
- For users interested in understanding or evaluating #cohesionpolicy, first you need to understand the financial effort made, the where and the how. We published this "How to ... " guide below to explore our most detailed #ESIFOpenData using filtering, manual downloads, ODATA or API connections.
- Later in 2021 we will redevelop #ESIFOpenData to reflect the new #EUbudget programmes adopted for 2021-2027.On 3/2/2021 we launched an invitation to users to help us identify their needs and priorities. We asked for replies to our 2021 user survey before the end of February.
We received over 250 replies which are now published here and can be explored interactively in this data lens.
- A data story was published on FEAD - the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived. FEAD supports actions to provide food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived. Explore the progress in EU payments 2014-2020 in the FEAD data story.
- Cohesion Policy financial data on "finances implemented" as of 30 September 2019 was published on 22 January. The total spending (EU + National) by ESI Funded programmes at the end of 2019 was EUR 264 billion; spending has risen to nearly EUR 319 billion by 30 September 2020 (and increase of nearly EUR 55 billion in 9 months). Check out this data story.The latest financial data on "decided" projects to end 2019 on Rural Development - EAFRD - was also published.(NB: The timing of publication was a month later than usual as we rebuilt the dataset in order to compare the financial data to the relevant financial table of the version of the adopted programme in force (not the most recent) at the cut off date for the financial data.)
- On twitter we posted this collection of independent research and studies published in 2020 using #ESIFopendata. The list provides useful examples of how researchers have exploited our unique monitoring data in their analysis. If we missed your work why not join the conversation and add a link to our thread?
2020 - Examples of data reuse; #EUSPI
- This blog on the developments on the platform was published on the occasion of the 5th Anniversary of the launch of the 2014-2020 ESIF Open Data platform (December 2015).
- At year's end we posted on twitter this collection of our main 2020 data and studies highlights (many using #ESIFopendata). It was a busy year working mainly from home.
- The European Social Progress index 2020 was launched on 2 December. The interactive data story on the right was published with the #EUSPI to allow users to explore the regional performance overall and in relation to the components and dimensions. It is supported with several open datasets.
- Follow us on twitter: @RegioEvaluation #CohesionOpenData #EURegioDataStories
- Contact: REGIO-WEBMASTER@ec.europa.eu