In the last decades, the integration process has been stimulated and reflected in a gradual strengthening of the cooperation of member states in individual economic spheres and in the increase in the intensity of relations, also through the implementation of various policies at the EU level, including the regional policy, which aims to ensure union cohesion and to counter divergence processes. The main aim of the article is to identify the existing economic and social disparities in the EU in light of the indicators selected. The challenges for the EU cohesion policy in the face of the changing environment are also discussed. Integration and disintegration processes are currently taking place in the EU, in both political and economic dimensions, which in turn affect EU cohesion. Disparities in the EU can be identified. Various challenges that the EU have been experiencing call into question further and effective union integration, from the economic perspective as well. This gave an impulse to devise EU development scenarios, among which the scenario of multi-speed Europe is close to coming true. It is necessary to intensify integration further, in which cohesion policy will play a leading role, also in the future where it will counter and reduce negative repercussions unarguably associated with integration processes and will stimulate further integration development.