One of the main premises of the preparation of the latest structural policy reform was the need to strengthen the economic and social cohesion of the European Union and to increase the competitiveness of its economy. In the result of admission of new members into the EU in 2004 and 2007 the disproportions in the level of the development of the Union's regions became greater. This made it necessary to increase outlays from the structural funds and from the Cohesion Fund on the financing of structural policy. Also, three new tasks of this policy were adopted: 1 - Convergence, 2 - Regional competitiveness and employment, and 3 - European territorial co-operation. In 2007-2013 the largest amounts from the EU budget will be allocated to the first of these tasks, that is Convergence. Poland will be the main beneficiary of assistance awarded from the structural funds and the Cohesion Fund. Judging by the experience of Ireland and Spain the use of this assistance in Poland and in other EU countries in 2007-2013 should contribute to the reduction of disproportions in the level of development between the group of new member-countries and the old 15 EU member-states.