Tag Archives: Regional development

Regions for economic change

Regions for economic change

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regions for economic change

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Review and the future of regional policy

Regions for economic change

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 8 November 2006 – Regions for economic change [COM(2006) 675 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission is responding to the challenge to create growth and more and better jobs through the partnership for growth and jobs. This partnership has been reformed by the Community Lisbon Programme and national reform programmes (NRPs).

The Community Strategic Guidelines 2007-2013 in the field of cohesion and the guidelines for investments for urban development aim to assist the partnership for growth and jobs by defining areas of intervention where priority should be given in the programmes for cohesion policy for 2007-2013.

The programmes for cohesion policy for 2007-2013 receive 350 billion of Community support and lever a further 150 billion of investment from national public sources. This investment should help make the breakthrough in economic modernisation and increased competitiveness in the context of the partnership for growth and jobs, thus making a connection between regional economic convergence and economic modernisation.

The Regions for Economic Change initiative

From the viewpoint of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and as part of the urban development programme, this Communication sets out the Regions for Economic Change initiative. The aim of the latter is to test out best practices which help strengthen the link between regional economic convergence and economic modernisation.

With a total budget of around 375 million, the initiative allows volunteer networks of Member States, regions and cities to test best practices for economic modernisation and increased competitiveness.

The Commission offers the volunteer networks a number of themes related to economic modernisation and the revised Lisbon strategy. In this way, those networks which so desire have the possibility of working and cooperating more closely with the Commission on these themes.

Networks participating in the initiative select development themes which interest them and pursue them through joint networks co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Thanks to the link between thematic development and the cohesion policy programmes, projects which have been tested are rapidly disseminated in the Member States.

Fast track option

There is a fast track option within the Regions For Economic Change initiative. Volunteer networks are established around the themes (linked to economic modernisation and the renewed Lisbon strategy) selected and animated by the Commission. The fast track option therefore gives the Commission the right of initiative and allows it to play an important role in the rapid dissemination of ideas for testing selected by the networks in ERDF-assisted programmes.

Communication

In order to ensure the rapid dissemination of ideas, results and best practice, it is important to introduce effective communication on the Regions For Economic Change initiative. This entails, for example, the organisation of an annual conference on regions for economic change, the launch of a new website and the introduction of annual awards for innovation.

Related Instruments

Council Decision 2006/702/EC of 6 October 2006 on Community strategic guidelines on cohesion [Official Journal L 291 of 21.10.2006].

Communication from the Commission of 5 July 2005 – Cohesion Policy in Support of Growth and Jobs – Community Strategic Guidelines, 2007-2013 [COM(2005) 299 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Black Sea Synergy

Black Sea Synergy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Black Sea Synergy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement

Black Sea Synergy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 11 April 2007 – Black Sea Synergy – A new regional cooperation initiative [COM(2007) 160 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Black Sea Synergy is a cooperation initiative that proposes a new dynamic for the region, its countries and their citizens. Regional cooperation could provide additional value to initiatives in areas of common interest and serve as a bridge to help strengthen relations with neighbouring countries and regions (Caspian Sea, Central Asia, South-eastern Europe).

In this context, Black Sea Synergy could reinforce the impact of existing cooperation instruments (the pre-accession process in the case of Turkey, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Strategic Partnership with Russia) and regional initiatives (Danube Cooperation Process).

Areas of cooperation

The EU proposes to build on its experience to support initiatives promoting democracy, respect for human rights and good governance through training, exchanges and regional dialogues with civil society.

It will also make use of institutions like the South-east European Cooperation Initiative (SECI) to tackle issues of migration and security. Improving border management and customs cooperation will help prevent irregular migration and fight against organised cross-border crime (trafficking in human beings, arms and drugs,).

The EC advocates a more active role in addressing frozen conflicts (Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh). Cooperation programmes offer a way of tackling issues of governance, security, social cohesion and economic development.

As regards energy, the EU will continue to enhance its relations with energy producers, transit countries and consumers for energy supply security, an area in which the Black Sea region is of strategic importance. The various instruments in place, both specific (Baku Initiative, dialogue on energy security, ENP) and general (bilateral relations, expansion of the Energy Community Treaty, WTO accession), are a means of working towards regulatory harmonisation and providing a clear, transparent and non-discriminatory framework. The EU also supports research into alternative energy sources, energy efficiency and energy saving, as well as the modernisation of infrastructures and the development of a new trans-Caspian trans-Black Sea energy corridor.

The EC should continue to support regional transport cooperation initiatives to improve the efficiency, safety and security of transport operations and improve coordination, notably through the extension of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the TRACECA programme. Other essential objectives include harmonising the regulatory framework through a dialogue on transport, uniform application of instruments and standards, extending the common aviation area and enhancing aviation and maritime safety.

As regards the protection of the environment, Member States will be encouraged to work within the framework of regional seas conventions. The implementation of multilateral agreements and a broader strategic cooperation are also essential, as is regional activity to combat climate change.

The EU’s emerging maritime policy should embrace all the countries in the region, and focus on developing a cross-sectoral maritime cooperation network. As regards fisheries, the management of fisheries resources should be strengthened to promote sustainable and responsible use of stocks.

In the trade sector, the closer economic cooperation needed to encourage trade liberalisation should be based on preferential trade relations, WTO accession, agreements with Russia and Ukraine, and the implementation of ENP action plans to promote harmonisation of laws and regulations.

Cooperation in the context of research and education networks is another aspect of this synergy. It aims at developing on-line services and e-commerce, the interconnection of all countries in the area to the pan-European research backbone GEANT and providing high-speed connectivity. The Tempus programme is another instrument for cooperation in the field of higher education.

In the field of science and technology, the EC intends to promote capacity-building and S&T policy dialogue with the Black Sea countries, through the 7th Research Framework Programme and other relevant instruments.

With regard to employment and social affairs, the EU should support initiatives aimed at strengthening social cohesion and fighting poverty and social exclusion through technical assistance schemes (exchange of information and best practice, awareness-raising, training).

The lessons learned in the implementation of the EU’s regional policy programmes for Bulgaria and Romania could be turned to account for regional development programmes throughout the area.

Financing

Instruments like the ENPI, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the regional activities of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank provide a financing framework.

Cross-border cooperation through the ENPI, the ERDF and the IPA should promote links between and strengthen the role of local actors and civil society.

In addition, the involvement of regional organisations should guarantee an appropriate level of regional cooperation, following the example of the Organisation for Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), to which all the countries in the region belong. Civil society organisations, under the aegis of the Black Sea Forum, could also provide a fertile medium for cooperation initiatives.

The strengthening of the European Neighbourhood Policy, including the building of a thematic dimension to the ENP and the gradual development of deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, would enrich Black Sea cooperation. Regional contacts should be facilitated by the removal of obstacles to legitimate travel and the promotion of university exchanges through the Erasmus Mundus and Tempus programmes. The Neighbourhood Investment Facility for countries with ENP Action Plans will help finance infrastructure investments, particularly in the fields of energy, transport and the environment.

Iceland – Regional policy

Iceland – Regional policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – Regional policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > Iceland

Iceland – Regional policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The 2011 Report highlights that Iceland’s participation in the European Economic Area (EEA) has enabled it to achieve a high level of alignment with the European Union (EU) acquis. However, the country must strengthen its capacity to manage and monitor the cohesion policy.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In the field of regional policy, the acquis essentially comprises framework regulations and implementing regulations which do not require transposition into national law. They define the rules applicable to the development, approval and implementation of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund, which each reflect the territorial organisation of the country. These programmes are negotiated and agreed with the Commission, but their implementation is the responsibility of the Member States. When choosing and implementing projects, Member States must comply with Community legislation in general, for example in the areas of public procurement, competition and the environment. They must have a suitable institutional framework and administrative capacities to ensure that the programming, implementation, monitoring and assessment of projects are carried out in a rational and cost-effective manner with regards to management and financial control.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Iceland has achieved limited progress in the field of regional policy and the coordination of European structural instruments. An overall action plan is being prepared in order to build the administrative capacity of the country. The country must also identify the institutions responsible for implementing the cohesion policy and for developing appropriate management mechanisms for financial control, monitoring actions and for evaluating programmes.