€ 351.8 billion. That’s how much the EU has assigned to Cohesion Policy funds in the period 2014 – 2020. € 351.8 billion. The number shows that the Commission post for Regional Policy is more important than many assume. While the general public has an eye on posts for trade, budget, digitalization or security, the portfolio for regional policy is a secret gem. With nearly one third of the overall EU budget, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) largely shape our everyday life in the EU: Investments in infrastructure like roads and digitalization, renewable energy sources or projects in education and arts are aimed at supporting “job creation, competitiveness, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable development”  in the EU. Basically, these funds make the benefits of living in the EU most tangible.
So, while everybody is discussing the candidates for budget, digitalization, security etc. we took a closer look at those reaching for the Regional Policy portfolio.