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"Now is the time to take the right decisions to help French regions to invest in the real economy in order to create jobs"

(09 July 2013)

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, has told a gathering of ministers and representatives from regional and local administration at the "French Partnership Closure Conference" in Tours that they cannot delay in planning for the next funding period of structural funds.  

The Commissioner stressed in his speech in particular the need to use EU regional funds for investments in the real economy in order to create jobs and lay the foundations for lasting growth: "What we are here to discuss today, is the use of European funds to boost the economy, and stimulate growth. Over the last three years we succeeded in shifting Cohesion Policy from an infrastructure oriented policy to an investment policy stimulating the economy as a whole. The new Regional Policy is Europe in action to support the supply AND demand side of the labour market. The investments that we will make together in the coming financial period will support innovation, small businesses, and the low carbon economy, in order to promote the climate in which new companies can take root and new jobs can be created".


He stressed the need to advance rapidly with the partnership agreement: "We are at a crucial moment. This is the time when decisions are being taken on how the funds will be spent. As we work on the Partnership Agreements and the programmes for the next period.

The Commissioner added that any changes to the system in France for managing the funds should be taken carefully and swiftly with as smooth a transition as possible:

"Now the challenge is to make sure that France's excellence is maintained in the transfer of management to the French Regional Councils".

Full Speech