all projects

ERDF and Cohesion Fund
monitoring data merged
at EU level 


European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy and Urban Development





The study analyses and evaluates the monitoring systems and data provided by EU Member States in the context of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund (CF) support in the period 2014-2020. These monitoring systems are complex and also reflect regional needs. Nevertheless, they provide high quality data on the funded projects.

A database for all co-financed measures in the EU

The study led to the creation of a database containing 215 Operational Programmes co-financed by the ERDF and/or CF and 73 cooperation programmes co-financed in the 2014-2020 period for the twelve thematic objectives. This database comprises three interlinked datasets: on operations, on beneficiaries and on common and programme-specific output indicators.

From the analysis of the monitoring systems and data of the 27 EU Member States and the United Kingdom, the study derived recommendations for their further improvement:

  • Double counting should be avoided in order to increase the plausibility and consistency of the data at EU level. At the project level, the data is correct; only through the aggregation of the data at the national level does double counting occur in some cases.
  • Electronic transmission of monitoring data and the introduction of automatic control mechanisms in the databases could increase efficiency.
  • Clearer labelling of projects in the monitoring systems would simplify their use at EU level. The marking should indicate whether an operation belongs to a project, a group of projects or a project component.

Question and objective

For the evaluation of the 2014-2020 ERDF and CF funding period, the European Commission needed solid data, especially at the project level. The main objective of the study was to collect, harmonise and aggregate monitoring data on the co-financed measures. This took place for the first time at EU level and for all thematic objectives. The study thus provides a consistent and reliable database for further analysis of the funded measures.

Our approach

The monitoring data provided by the 27 EU Member States and the United Kingdom had very different data types. Therefore, the data had to be cleaned and harmonised.
A cluster analysis of the projects and beneficiaries covered allowed them to be classified into groups. In addition, the common output indicators were checked for plausibility and important programme-specific output indicators were analysed.
In order to evaluate the monitoring systems of the Member States and the United Kingdom, country experts conducted interviews with the respective authorities.

Links and downloads

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Project team: Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer, Neysan Khabirpour, Anja Breuer, Vera Fuhs

Last update: 12.07.2023

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