Kohesio promotes the visibility and transparency of cohesion funding – Regional policy


On point

The new Kohesio Knowledge Base of Cohesion Policy-funded projects provides publicly accessible data on EU investments to support policy-making and counter misinformation.

Unveiled during the 8and Cohesion Forum on March 17, the platform is a resource for the general public, journalists, researchers and policy makers. It shows how cohesion policy promotes economic and social development and strengthens territorial cohesion across the EU.

Cohesion and Reforms Commissioner Elisa Ferreira said it reflected a desire to ensure policy delivery is transparent and closer to citizens.

“We put 1.5 million projects on the map, literally, in a user-friendly form. It’s part of our commitment to openness and transparency and complements our award-winning open data platform.

Translated into English and all EU languages by 2022

Project titles and descriptions are automatically translated into English. By 2022, Kohesio will cover all official EU languages.

The projects, which support more than 500,000 beneficiaries, cover national and regional operational programs for the funding period 2014-2020, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund (CF) and the Social Fund European (ESF).

The platform offers an interactive map indicating the location of projects in the EU-27. The projects in the red circles are examples of best practice.

Information provided includes funding, beneficiary details and, where available, links to websites, audiovisual resources or more detailed project descriptions published on InfoRegio, our main source of information for Cohesion Policy.

Search filters allow projects to be identified by theme, policy, beneficiary or region. Project datasets can be downloaded for analysis and reuse

Support to managing authorities

Kohesio is based on collaboration between the European Commission and managing authorities and encourages more frequent contacts and exchanges of good practices in data standardization.

The managing authorities agree that the platform is a useful tool for disseminating Cohesion Policy data. “Kohesio will rely on linked data and use the lists of operations published by the programs to provide greater transparency and visibility of cohesion policy data”, says Tsvetelina Dineva, spokesperson for the Directorate of the Central Coordination Unit, Council of Ministers, Bulgaria.

“Through Kohesio, the general public will gather ideas and experiences from projects implemented in each EU country.”

Kohesio has links with the Bulgarian management information and monitoring system, eufunds.bg, publicizing around 40,000 EU-funded projects in Bulgaria. According to Ms Dineva, the social media accounts of the country’s district information points will also be used to publicize EU investments in Bulgaria listed on Kohesio.

Claudia Anreiter, communications manager for IGJ/ERDF Austria, explains that the platform’s search and filter functions are easy to use and that the link to other public data promotes transparency. Project stories and background information or data analysis in the “themes” section also add value to users.

“Kohesio will be useful in identifying projects in specific regions or villages, to be used in the ‘Europe in my region’ campaign,” says Ms Anreiter. “The best practice case studies can be used as content for websites or newsletters and to inspire potential recipients.

“The great added value is to have easy access to projects funded in other countries without having to search through lists. If I want to know what type of projects are funding Ireland or Malta, I get the result in a few clicks. If a journalist wants to know what projects are being funded, say in Salzburg, I can just direct them to Kohesio,” Ms Anreiter explains.

Italy’s OpenCoesione initiative says Kohesio would help improve civic monitoring of publicly funded projects. Automatic translation of Italian project data into other languages ​​would make it accessible to a wider audience.

OpenCoesione confirms its intention to collaborate with Kohesio to ensure better data exchange and define a common semantic framework on EU-funded project data.

Expand reach

Kohesio started as a pilot project with six Member States, managed by DGREGIO in close collaboration with DG CNECT for technical developments, and the participation of DIGIT. It was extended in 2021 to cover the EU-27. The platform is based on open source software developed by Wikimedia Deutschland and uses technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and semantic search to facilitate access to data.

DG RTD, in partnership with the Commission’s Common Resource Centre, plans to use Kohesio data to analyze whether the Horizon Europe investment program and the ERDF complement each other and to determine the impacts of both.

To ensure that Kohesio does not become a database among others, the platform will be regularly updated according to the latest list of operations. New features will be added to improve access to information and visibility of EU-funded projects. The platform will become fully multilingual by the end of 2022.

Interreg projects and programs for the period 2021-2027 will be added, including those supported by the Just Transition Fund.

About the author