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REGION OF THE WEEK: Lombardy (Italy)

Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

18/01/2012

What are the region’s priorities?

Located in the Northern part of Italy, Lombardy is the largest and most populous region of the country. Economically, it is considered to be a very dynamic region with a GDP per inhabitant of 134% the EU27 average in 2008.

Together with Catalonia, Rhône-Alpes and Baden-Württemberg, Lombardy is part of the network "4 motors for Europe" which aims to boost cooperation in the university, scientific, economic, sports and cultural fields.

Lombardy Regional Administration's priorities for cohesion policy after 2013 will be focussed on:

  • Research and innovation
  • Implementation of the Sustainable Lombardy Plan, which gives energy sustainability a key role in re-launching the regional economy, from February 2010
  • A new industrial policy that supports local SMEs and ensures they remain at the forefront in Italy, Europe and internationally,
  • Reduction of structural unemployment,
  • Improvement of the effectiveness of the education and training system at all levels,
  • Promotion of social inclusion and fight against poverty,
  • Simplification of processes and reduction of bureaucracy,
  • Promotion of a wider use of financial instruments such as revolving financing and/or guarantees
  • Initiatives that create leverage and returns on investments for a better availability of resources available to achieve full employment, the development of entrepreneurialism and social inclusion.

What contribution has been made by the EU's regional policy?

During the 2007-2013 period, the EU is due to invest € 211 million in Lombardy, which represents approximately 0.7% of the total EU investment earmarked for Italy.

Lombardy's Operational Programme allocates more than 68% of its total budget for growth and jobs. The Programme plays a key role in:

  • Boosting competitiveness through research and innovation; in particular, the programme supports cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research centres and “poles of excellence” with the “Lombardy knowledge system.”
  • Reducing carbon emissions through the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency;
  • Supporting sustainable mobility by means of modal integration (road, rail and metro) and by encouraging the widespread use of forms of transport which have a reduced environmental impact (car pooling, car sharing, road pricing, etc.)
  • Enhancing the attractiveness of the region with a particular focus on cities, environmental and cultural promotion.

Examples of projects

  • Rural community embraces sustainable energy: The small town Roncoferraro in the Po Valley has switched to 100% renewable energy for its municipal energy users. A mix of different technologies now provides all the heat and air conditioning it requires during traditionally cold winters and hot summers. The new system has boosted the local economy for farmers producing woodchips and above all demonstrated how even a small community can make use of renewable energy.

  • Investment in broadband services in areas affected by digital divide and market failure: the project will finance the construction of a broadband transport and access network in areas currently not served by telecommunications operators and is designed to improve the quality of living of citizens by offering access to e-medicine, e-learning and e-commerce services and facilities as well as to improve business competitiveness and reduce the risk of depopulation resulting from the lack of services and facilities.

  • An innovation and diversification project in the industry sector (machines and plants for rubber and plastics). The promoter (Comerio SpA) created an innovation system and a new technical machine-tool in order to recycle and process rubber reclaimed by tires or industrial scraps, mainly pneumatics and plastics. The main applications of this project are: conveyors, sports flooring, acoustic panels, etc.

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