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REGION OF THE WEEK:

Galicia

Galicia

16/03/2012

The Region of Galicia is located in the Northwest of Spain, borders with Portugal to the South and with the Spanish Regions of Asturias and Castilla y León to the East. It covers a total area of 29,574 km2 and has a population of 2.736.636 inhabitants.

The region comprises four provinces which are A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra. With its 1500 km of coast line, it is one of the Spanish regions with more cost line on the Atlantic Ocean.

On Friday 16 March, Galicia will participate together with other Spanish regions in the Atlantic forum organised in Madrid in order to promote the inclusion of maritime activities in the Cohesion Policy negotiations 2014-2020.

Galicia's GDP in 2010 was 57.828.038 EUR which represents about 5, 4% of Spanish GDP. With a GDP per capita in 2009 of 21.800 EUR it represents 92, 7 % of EU27 average. Some of the most important sectors of Galicia are textiles, agriculture fishing and aquaculture (3.8% of the GDP in 2010), shipbuilding, renewable energies (in 2009 55,6% of the electricity generated in Galicia come from renewable energy) and automotive industry.

 

What are the country's priorities?

The Community of Galicia focuses its resources on:

  • Development and entrepreneurial innovation (around 16% of total investment) by introducing efficient environmental management systems for businesses, encouraging growth in the production structures of Galicia, increasing interregional competitiveness and help to attract foreign investment and supporting growth of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises by developing their innovative potential in order to allow them to access new markets in the globalised economy.


  • Environment, protection of natural resources, management, distribution and treatment of water, risk prevention (around 22% of total investment):
    The key aim of this priority is to boost the environmental potential of Galicia in order to achieve sustainable economic development while protecting and improving the natural surroundings through the clean, rational use of natural resources and the establishment of warning and environmental risk-prevention mechanisms. Special attention is paid to the management and distribution of drinking water and the treatment of waste water.


  • Transport and energy (around 41.5% of total investment):
    The actions envisaged under this priority aim at working on completing the connection with the trans-European transport networks and improving the interoperability of the various means of transport and further promoting the production of sustainable energy and improve energy efficiency. The infrastructure and geographical characteristics of the region of Galicia make it highly dependent on road transport (people and goods), which has a particularly negative impact on the environment. The programme intends to help improve the accessibility of Galicia and develop environmentally-friendly transport services.

     

    How is EU regional policy contributing?

    Since the accession of Spain to the EU in 1986, Cohesion Policy has invested more than 18 billion EUR in Galicia. This huge investment has significantly boosted Galicia's real convergence with the EU-27 average per capita income, allowing it to pass from 75.6% of this average in 2000 to 92.7 % in 2009.

    In addition, focusing on specific needs like transport or energy, it has helped to improve the daily life of Galician citizens.

    In 2007-2013, Galicia made a clear strategic shift with respect to the previous period 2000-2006. During the negotiations there was a clear political will to replace progressively investments in infrastructures with investments in the field innovation and research, renewable energy and entrepreneurial innovation.

    Taking into account all the ERDF interventions having an impact in Galicia, 78.51% of the funds will be devoted to Lisbon-type investments aiming at fuelling growth and jobs.

    The programme objectives for the period 2007-2013 are a 2.9% increase in real GDP, a planned increase in R&D expenditure from the current 0.88% (2007) of GDP to 1.87% of GDP by 2013, a planned increase in work productivity with an average annual growth rate of 0.87% and the creation of 84 000 jobs and 421 innovative businesses.

     

    Project examples

    • LugO2 Project:  (EU contribution: 3.467.763EUR)


    • LugO2 is a project designed to the endogenous development of the municipalities included in protected natural areas of the province through the valuation of available natural resources and environmental awareness of residents and visitors. Municipalities of biosphere reserves in the province of Lugo, which affects 56% of the surface, are the following: Terras do Minho, Os Ancares, Rio Eo-Terras de Buron Oscos and O Courel.
      The initiative has the following objectives:
      • To assist in the creation of business and jobs related to the environment and natural resources.
      • To raise awareness and training on environment.
      • To carry out training on new technologies.
      • To increase the value of natural resources for self-development.
      • To promote sustainable tourism.
      • To offer more career opportunities to graduates.

      The project also strives to face the challenges to increase the importance of rural areas and the use of renewable energy in the province based on available natural resources, to promote the sustainable development of environment -55% of the area of the province of Lugo is a biosphere reserve- and the province's natural environment as an engine of economic development, professionalizing environmental tourism. Also local products will be fostered while promoting new channels of distribution.

    • Electronic invoicing:  (EU contribution: 2.660.000 EUR)


    • This initiative is part of the eXunta Strategic Plan designed to improve electronic government (e-administration), included in the action called "electronic folder". This is a set of eight electronic applications addressed to citizens, enabling a faster and dynamic relationship with citizens and government through Internet. The website will provide a central access to all procedures and consultation of records, such as management and tax situation, accounts, certificates of indebtedness, payments and subsidies, among others.

      One of the applications is called "Electronic Invoicing System" and it involves the design and development of an electronic registration system of legal invoice. In particular, it analyses and develops the processes involved in the management of legal e-invoicing, so that covers all requirements established by the current legislation regarding billing obligations and regulations on the Value Added Tax, and especially the regulation of electronic invoicing.

      This system provides a secure solution that will allow, on the one hand, the electronic submission of bills and, on the other, will provide greater flexibility, transparency, accessibility to information processing enabling optimization, efficiency and cost savings. This is an innovative system that encourages the incorporation of information technology and communication in the relationship between the administration with citizens and companies. It is clearly aligned with the principles of Europe 2020 as it contributes to the achievement of a digital agenda for Europe.

    • Pazo de Gandarón rehabilitation for Misión Biológica de Galicia: (EU contribution: 647.000 EUR)


    • The Misión Biológica was created in 1921 by the Board for the Extension of Studies and Scientific Research (JAE). Its first headquarters was the School of Veterinary Medicine, in Santiago, but after its disappearance in 1927, the Misión moved to Pontevedra.

      The Misión was born as a laboratory for biological research to resolve problems within the Galician agriculture from a scientific point of view and based on genetics. It is designed to undertake research and scientific work to improve agriculture. Its activities include conservation and genetic improvement of corn, vine, beans or cabbage, among others. It also works to improve forest and it also has had a line dedicated to genetic improvement of cattle.

      The work of rehabilitation of the Pazo Gandarón is exemplary because it combines tradition and functionality. It brings together administrative space, conference room for 90 people, offices, an extensive library, a cafeteria and several laboratories. About a hundred of people works in Salcedo and people are becoming more interested thanks to the informative workshops organized by the Misión to reach young people.

      The Misión Biológica remains a center of integrated biology at the forefront of agricultural research, related to the uniqueness of the environment and the specificity of the genetic heritage. And now it tries to incorporate new technologies and disciplines that provide responses to the demands of society.

    • School of Dramatic Art in Vigo: (EU contribution: 4.968.750 EUR)


    • The School of Dramatic Art of Galicia wants to become a reference in a discipline that seeks to bring to the scene unusual and new areas hitherto, as well as to promote research to increase the integration of students into the labor market.

      The centre seeks to strengthen its activities in areas such as local development, where it can be useful to perform new initiatives, such as the one developed in Laza to retrieve the tradition of carnival, or the organization of conferences and trade shows. Besides providing theater classes and related activities, the School also conducts scientific and technical research work in order to introduce new technologies in theater and dance disciplines, as well as to create new scenarios and be closer to public.

      The centre wants to be integrated in the Spanish system of science and technology. They look at several areas: writing, staging, interpretation, new ways of linking technologies with dance and theater and try to take part in innovative projects. It also encourages the training of researchers and specialists in an emerging field such as education and theatrical animation and promotes specialization from initiatives such as the Master of Arts, the School organized in collaboration with the University of Vigo.

      Thanks to the new building, the centre receives 125 students from all parts of the region and hires 40 teachers. The 80% of students come from outside Vigo, and even new students are coming from Portugal.

     

    Further information