The EU is confronted with a series of important problems. The two that interest us most in the present paper are the lack of competitiveness on international markets and the considerable internal (regional) imbalances. Since quite some time the EU has put policies in practice to address both problems: the Lisbon Strategy for the former and Cohesion Policy for the latter.In our paper we describe the rather independent development of both policies in terms of objectives, instruments, delivery system, etc. We highlight that the main inadequacy of the Lisbon Strategy is its lack of funds. The solution that has been found to this problem is to reorient these funds originally destined to address cohesion problems to the aims of competitiveness, notably innovation. This has been done maintaining the Cohesion Policy delivery system. Although this somewhat distorted solution has proven workable, quite a few inadequacies in matters of effectiveness have emerged. We conclude the paper with some recommendations to improve that situation by the use of better coordination methods.