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"EU Structural funds will help Portugal emerge stronger out of the crisis", says Commissioner Hahn during his visit in Coimbra

(11 April 2014)

Commissioner Hahn is in Coimbra and Cantanhede in the Portuguese region Centro today to visit 2 "flagship" projects that he believes can help point Portugal "in the right direction" for 2014-2020. The business and research centre Biocant and the Pedro Nunes Institute are seen as important examples of how structural funds can be used to support Portugal as it emerges from the crisis as to create good reliable jobs for the future.

Commissioner Hahn said, "EU investments have achieved a great deal for Portugal and I do believe in its greatest need the support they have provided have helped the country to weather the storm of the crisis. But projects like these in Centro that I am visiting today show us what we can do when we build on the dynamism of Portugal's regions and its world famous entrepreneurial spirit. This is how we can move forward, by focusing the funds on key growth areas and ensuring Portugal emerges stronger out of the crisis than before."

In 2014-2020 the Centro region can expect a significant share of the € 16.67 billion that has been set aside for the so called less developed regions of Portugal (Norte, Centro, Alentejo and Açores); This forms the greatest part of the €21.5bn going to Portugal to support the creation of new jobs and the support of areas like research, innovation, energy efficiency and medium sized business.

The support from the European funds will increase the competitiveness of the region's traditional industrial sectors such as ceramics, glass, and forest. Building on the excellent academic and R&D capacities in place, the funds will push further the already successful high-tech sectors such as health services, biotechnology, new materials (particularly the moulds industry) and renewables.