The Cooperation Fund Foundation was established by the State Treasury in September 1990. It was founded in response to the need for a non-political, specialised and efficient organisation that would transparently manage aid funds on behalf of the Government and assist the implementation of EU supported projects.
The principal goal of the Foundation was to stimulate and support democratic transition and development of the Polish economy, by assisting government institutions that co-ordinate foreign aid and in particular, by accepting and distributing funds and material aid offered by the European Union, other international bodies and foreign governmental and private institutions.
The Cooperation Fund Foundation has fulfilled its role through the implementation of programmes and projects that support specific economic sectors and public life areas, co-financed from pre-accession funds (PHARE) and other EU funds, as well as through the management of entrusted foreign aid funds, disbursed by the aid coordinator.
Over twenty years of its activity, the Cooperation Fund has changed from a small organisation, employing a dozen people, into a high capacity institution, managing hundreds of millions of euros and playing an important role in Poland's preparations for EU membership and its overall socio-economic growth. This was possible thanks to the principles underlying the Foundation's activity since the beginning of its existence: flexible response to Poland's development needs (with a special focus on the integration process), openness to co-operation with various partners, from the local to the international level and the transparency of operating policies and procedures.
Among numerous programmes, realised by the Foundation, were programmes supporting the development of entrepreneurship, civic society and rural districts as also those supporting education reforms, local initiatives and development, including local self-government. In practice the activities of the Foundation covered most of the social and economic development of Poland after 1989.
Some programmes are continued still today, especially those closely related to the preparation of Polish institution for operating within the European Union. The existence of efficient structures and procedures was confirmed by the EDIS accreditation, granted unconditionally by the European Commission in 2004.