Cohesion policy has developed from a minor concern to one of the most important pursuits of the European Union. It amounts to about 35% of the EU budget, making it the second largest budget item. A reform of the EU's structural policies is now unavoidable because of i) the performance of previous policies may be improved, ii) the upcoming enlargement with ten relatively poor new member states and iii) the problems relating to the dimension of EU budget. Enlargement offers the EU a window of opportunity to accelerate this reform, that can play an important role in accelerating income convergence among European regions. Aim of this paper is to discuss the main options open to the European policy makers concerning the future of structural policies, and the more relevant documents produced till end 2002.