The current period of Structural Funds programmes and instruments will come to its end in December 2006 and the Commission, the Member States and the regions prepare for the new programming period between 2007 and 2013.
As a first step in launching the discussion on the priorities for the new generation of cohesion policy programmes, the Commission published on 6 July 2005 draft Community Strategic Guidelines entitled Cohesion Policy in Support of Growth and Jobs: Community Strategic Guidelines, 2007-2013.

The Guidelines set out a framework for new programmes which will be supported by the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund.