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€350bn for economic growth and jobs across Europe - 15/05/2008

Illustration showing large pie cut into segments

Radical shift in priorities as 450 programmes come under the spotlight for EU regional funding.

Globalisation, climate change, migration trends and ageing populations – modern challenges taken up by the EU's regional funding programmes for 2007-13. But it is economicgrowth and jobs which will get the lion's share of the money.

Regional policy commissioner Danuta Hübner welcomed the way this round of negotiations yielded even more keenly targeted programmes than ever. Negotiations involved a far wider range of participants this time, the hope being that the more people involved, the more successful the programmes.

The largest part of the money will be spent through the European social fund, the main way the EU invests in people.

To make this a reality, regions eligible for EU funding have identified clear targets:

  • in Spain, research and development funding will more than double, to €8bn
  • information and communication technologies will benefit from €15.3bn, double the funding in 2000-06. Poland, Italy, Greece, Slovakia and Spain are pledging the largest budgets
  • Finland will support business start-ups with €343m, while Poland will cut the number of days required to set up a company from 60 to 7
  • nearly €26bn will be invested in improving the quality and availability of education and training, including support for projects boosting lifelong learning and encouraging students to complete their courses, especially in Portugal, Greece and Italy
  • the environment will see investment worth €105bn. Latvia plans to increase coverage of waste-water management from 9% to 62% of its population.

These are just some of the commitments made - the next step is to identify projects on the ground so funding can be channelled into concrete results.

More on:

EU regional funding in your country

Recent EU regional programmes.

Tell us how EU regional funding has helped you or your community (by May 30th).

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