Cohesion in Europe towards 2050. Eighth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion

Author (Corporate)
Publication Date February 2022
ISBN 978-92-76-46619-2
EC KN-01-22-027-EN-N
Content Type


The Commission published the 8th Cohesion Report on 9 February 2022, presenting a first picture of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic at the regional level. It also shows both positive and negative trends in EU regions, cities and rural areas.

The Report assesses economic, social and territorial cohesion in the EU. It shows that less developed regions have been catching up, but that many transition regions have been stuck in a development trap. Furthermore, the growing innovation divide will make it harder for both types of region to catch up. At the EU level, employment rates are now higher than before the economic crisis in 2008, but regional disparities are still above their pre-crisis level. Demographic change will affect all regions in the coming decades. Regions will have to adjust to a shrinking labour force and student body and a growing population that is aged 65 and over.

Fiscal consolidation after the crisis in 2008 reduced public investment and has not yet regained its pre-crisis levels. As a result, cohesion policy funding has become ever more important, growing from the equivalent of 34% to 51% of public investment between the 2007-2013 and the 2014-2020 periods.

The report highlights that the green and digital transitions will be key drivers of EU growth, but argues that, without appropriate policy action, new economic, social and territorial disparities may appear. It launches a reflection on how cohesion policy should evolve to respond to these challenges.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, November 2022: Cohesion in the EU towards 2050: 8th Cohesion Report and stakeholder views

European Commission: Regional Policy: Eighth Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion

ESO Records
Communication on the 8th Cohesion Report: Cohesion in Europe towards 2050 (European Commission, 2022)

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