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(05 - 06 - 2013)


On 3 June Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn met Mr Christian Bourquin, President of the French region Languedoc-Roussillon to discuss the state of play of the cohesion policy implementation so far as well as the future investment priorities for 2014-2020.

Languedoc-Roussillon has a large number of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (127.570 enterprises). The majority of companies are concentrated in the Montpellier-Nimes urban area. Services are the predominant sector in the region. The region’s major industries include electrical engineering, food processing and tourism. However, industry only makes up 8% of the local GNP.The attractive seaside location creates a number of economic opportunities for the region involving the use of marine resources and tourism makes up 15% of the region’s GNP.

The region has a strong public research in Health, Biotechnologies, Agronomy and Energy (nuclear and solar). Demography is marked by an increase in population at an accelerating rate, while the unemployment remains above French average (14% in 2012). In 2010Languedoc-Roussillon had a GDP/hab. of 84 % of the EU-27 average.


What are the region’s priorities and how does Cohesion Policy contribute?

The Regional Policy Programme for Languedoc-Roussillon for 2007-2013 has a total budget of 817 million euros. The financing provided by the EU under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to 270 million EUR, while the national public contribution represents 386.3 million EUR and partly consists of loans granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other loan instruments. The priorities of the region are:

  • innovation, technology transfer and economic development;
  • protection of environment and risk prevention;
  • alternatives to road transport;
  • information and communication technologies;
  • accessibility and regional cohesion.

The programme notably contributes successfully to provide the region with:

- Easier access to finance for start-ups and SMEs:  Languedoc-Roussillon was the first EU region to create this European financial engineering mechanism, notably JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro-to-medium Enterprises). € 30 million (50% from the ERDF) have been allocated to SMEs so far. Considering the success of JEREMIE in Languedoc-Roussillon, the region is likely to renew this initiative in 2014-2020.

- Increase of energy efficiency in social housing: since 2009, the EU regions can use ERDF to support social housing restoration actions in order to improve energy efficiency. Languedoc-Roussillon has planned to use € 10.8 million from its ERDF budget to support such projects until 2013. Restoration works allow a reduction of energy-related expenditure and maintenance charges.


Examples of projects

- Manufacture of piping valves and fittings for the petroleum and natural gas industries at Versaserv in Béziers: EU investment EUR 150,000

A 3,000m2-building was constructed for the development of the Versaserv company. The company was able to expand thanks to the JEREMIE programme, which provides access to SME financing in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.


Energy efficiency in the local authority housing in Perpignan: EU investment EUR 804,682

Implement energy renovations in local authority housing and a solar power system for 164 dwellings in the city of Torcatis for local environmental conservation and reduction of greenhouse gases.


Telemedicine for home wound follow-up care in Montpellier: EU investment EUR 499,131

The Languedoc-Roussillon Injury and Healing City Hospital Network Association uses telemedicine to manage 1500 patients a year with mobility issues whose wounds are experiencing delays in healing. This project uses information technology to improve accessibility to care and strengthen social cohesion.


Protection and sustainable management of the Barrier Beach from Sète to Marseillan:EU investment EUR 9,000,000

The barrier beach – a dune belt – from Sète to Marseillan, which separates Thau Pond from the Mediterranean Sea, is a part of local ecosystems and produces significant biodiversity. That is why since 2004, the Town of Thau has been running a programme to protect the barrier beach. The objective of this project is to protect the natural environment and enable continuation of local activities: traditional fishing, shellfish farming, viticulture and tourism. The hydrodynamic functioning of this sandy barrier beach must also be restored.


Vinnotec: Innovation for the wine-making sector EU investment EUR 768,000

The Vinnotec project aims to develop innovative tools and services to modernise practices in the wine-making industry. These tools provide the information needed to manage wine-making organisations and optimise grape production processes. To accomplish this, three regional enterprises (Dwine, Neotic and Ondalys) have partnered up with public research laboratories. This project encompasses ten initiatives, including improvement of soil sensors and IT decision-support tools.


Further information:

EU Structural Funds in the Languedoc-Roussillon region

 Languedoc-Roussillon Innovation Site