This document sets out the UK government’s position on future EU cohesion policy programmes (European Structural Funds), and reflections on the lessons learnt from the current programme cycle. As the European Commission and EU member states begin discussions to develop the next set of cohesion policy programmes, reflecting on these lessons provides an important opportunity to improve the programmes for the future.
As the Prime Minister said, although we are leaving the EU, the UK wants the EU to succeed and prosper. There are a number of lessons to learn from current and previous cohesion policy programmes and from the experiences of other member states. The UK has implemented cohesion policy programmes for over 40 years, and reflections on their implementation to date can help ensure a successful cohesion policy post-2020.
The government has committed to create a UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), a domestic programme of investment after leaving the EU. It will consult on the design and priorities of the new fund later this year, as committed in the Industrial Strategy.