Revealed: the historic pattern of EU investments in your region
The Commission has brought together the history of EU budget payment data from multiple programme periods and multiple funds, and regionalised it annually (1988-2018) to the NUTS2 level. Data on EU payments of over EUR 900 billion are available in this data set for the open use of researchers.
- The EU payment data for the 2007-2013 period were supplemented with the addition of full payment histories for the years 2016-2018; and a more accurate NUTS2 regionalisation of EAFRD payments was made in particular in the case of payments to DE and FR;
- The complete EU payments for the period 2014-2020, for all ESI Funds, were added for the years 2014-2018.
2. What questions
does the EU payment data answer and how can it be used?
3. Looking at the overall volume of investment over time
An annual analysis of the data also demonstrates the overlap
between programme periods. As one programme closes another one begins with some overlap.
4. A unique feature: modelling
the EU payments to estimate the underlying expenditure in regional economies
Over the budget periods, EU payments made were predominantly in reimbursement of expenditure actually incurred. In other words the EU payments were made after the actual expenditure. Using the date of EU payments may distort economic analysis of the effect to the investments. The Commission therefore commissioned a treatment of the EU payments to make a best estimate of when the actual expenditure took place by year. The comparison of EU payments and modelled real expenditure can be compared below. Real payments typically take place earlier and end earlier than the EU payments.
5. Which EU funds and funding periods are covered?
- Under the ERDF, EU payments to Interreg programmes are not included in the regionalisation;
- The Cohesion Fund was only created in 1993;
- For the EU-14 countries that joined in 2004 and 2007 the EU payments made under the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) are presented under the Cohesion Fund;
- Before 2007 the EAFRD was previously the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF);
- For ESF and EMFF the full payment history was not available for all periods.
6. A word on the data: how was it compiled?
- The annual EU payment history by programme was extracted from the Commission’s accounting system. (The annualised EU payment record by programme for the periods 1988-2013 are in this data set.)
- The interim and final payments to programmes were then regionalised using the best information available from the programmes and estimating the regional distribution (using population size) where NUTS2 information were not available.
- The regionalised EU payments were further treated, using modelling techniques, to develop an estimate of when the actual expenditure took place that led to the EU payments.
NUTS versions 2013
Treatment of 2014-2020 EU payment data
- ESIF 2014-2020 annualised EU payment data set;
- 2014-2020 Cohesion policy NUTS Lookup table;
- 2014-2020 EAFRD NUTS Lookup table (selected metropolitan regions were excluded from pro rata apportioning; that lookup table was also used for regionalising EU payments under the EMFF);
- Github documentation (including Python code).
7. Who will be interested in the dataset?
8. Find out more
- Explore the historical data (API enabled) through its metadata page on the ESIF Open Data platform;
- "Improving the reliability of cohesion policy databases", Lo Piano S, Borgonovo E, Puy A, Saltelli A, Walsh J, et al. (2022) Improving the reliability of cohesion policy databases. PLOS ONE 17(4): e0266823.
- WIIW study (2016) on "the Consolidation of Financial Data 1989-2013" on payments to programmes (including a description of regionalisation method to NUTS-2) ;
- BERGEN study (2017) on "Regionalisation of ESIF payments 1989-2015" (including the modelling by year of when the real expenditure underlying the EU payments may have taken place);
- Open Evidence study (2020) on the "Test and update of regionalised ESIF payments 1989-2018".