IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to adisclaimerand acopyright notice
  European Commission > Regional Policy

Glossary | Search | Contact | Mailing lists
Newsroom Newsroom Commissioner Debate Issues Directorate General


Financial Perspective
Financing Regional Policy
Added Value
Concrete Benefits
Cost of a non-agreement


Financial perspective :
Europe invests in your future



Concrete benefits for the citizens:

Regional policy helps people to find work and live better in their country, region, neighbourhood or village. It can mean highways, high-speed trains and airports which bring regions on the periphery closer to the great centres of economic development. It can mean creating enterprises in backward regions. It can mean improving the environment in old wastelands, the information society taking root in rural areas or education and recreational services becoming established in the suburbs. So this policy adds to a region’s economic attractiveness and acts as a catalyst for overall development.

Some of the main benefits for Spain:

- a big increase in GDP, well above the Community average (from 77,6% en 1994 to 87% in 2003) and a halving in unemployment (from 24,1% in 1994 to 11,4% in 2002);

- significant results in all supported sectors, in particular modernisation of transport (roads, motorways, railways), hence better accessibility, substantial reduction in travel time and accidents.

Some of the main benefits for Ireland

- transformation of the Irish economy: from well below (58%) to well above (132%) the EU average, rising by 3% to 4% per year);

- creation of a large pool of young, well-educated workers thanks to investment in human capital (unemployment rate halved from 11,9% in 1994 to 4,3% in 2002);

- accelerated modernisation of basic infrastructure (by stimulating economic development, attracting foreign direct investment), notably in respect of telecommunications (telephone system, rural internet, island cabling…).

Some of the main benefits for Sweden:

- introduction of new working practices (decentralisation, more co-operation between central and regional/local authorities, exchange of best practices and networking across national borders);

- created and maintained jobs, created new SMEs, more people with access to training.

Some of the main benefits for the environment:

- notable progress in the upgrading of equipment - increased connection to water supply (Portugal), to waste water treatment plants (Dublin), particularly in the cohesion countries;

- development of renewable energies (wind energy centres along the Portuguese coast), waste management systems (Vilnius);

- improvement of urban public transport systems with consequent reduction in journey time and pollution (Athens, Bilbao).

Example of gender mainstreaming:

- In Austria and Germany, an Interreg project specifically targeted the development of women’s entrepreneurship.

Examples of opening up border regions:

- Spanish-Portuguese border with the bridge over the Guardania and the Huelva-Lagos motorway;

- Danish-Swedish border with the Oresund bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö.

Example in France: Bio-excellence in Cherbourg

With EU funding, the regional authorities could set up a centre of excellence for the life industries and thus face reconversion problems. More precisely, the Structural Funds have provided financial support for a training centre located on the Cherbourg University campus and for the Laboratoire universitaire des sciences appliquées de Cherbourg (LUSAC), attached to the École d'Ingénieurs (EIC), allowing it to acquire very costly but effective equipment.

Example in the UK: Wolverhampton

In Wolverhampton the regeneration programme supported by the Structural Funds has created new jobs to replace those lost in steel and other industries. In five years, the scheme created 1500 jobs, 75 new SMEs of which 32 specialised in cultural activities, as well as helping finance a new tramway and replenish the theatre.

Example in Finland: The Octopus project in Oulu

The Octopus project, a business innovation and start-up centre was set up as a private-public partnership with the city of Oulu directing the co-operation network.

Next 3/3


More information:

20 December 2005

Danuta Hübner: Agreement on budget, a good news for Europe

15-16 December 2005 The European Council reached agreement on the Financial Perspective 2007-2013
24 November 2005

Financing Growth and Cohesion in the Enlarged EU - Conference presenting two new initiatives: Joint Assistance to Support Projects in the European Regions (JASPERS) and Joint European Resources for Micro-Enterprises (JEREMIE)

10-13 October 2005 European Week of Regions and Cities - OPEN DAYS 2005
7 October 2005 Working document of Directorate-General Regional Policy summarising the results of the public consultation on the Community Strategic Guidelines for Cohesion, 2007-2013
29 September 2005 Territorial Cooperation Programmes 2007-2013
A two-day seminar will be held in Brussels on 28 and 29 September on the new ‘European territorial cooperation’ (ex-INTERREG) objective. The issues to be discussed will concern management questions for the future generation of cross-border, transnational and interregional programmes.

6 July 2005 Commission adopts Communication on the "Community Strategic Guidelines for Cohesion 2007-2013"

The Commission adopted a Communication on "Community Strategic Guidelines for Cohesion 2007-2013". These guidelines will set the strategic framework for cohesion policy interventions and the next generation of Structural Funds programmes.
17 May 2005 Third Progress Report on Cohesion
11 May 2005 EP votes on Financial Perspective
3 March 2005 Conference : Cohesion and the Lisbon Agenda: The Role of the Regions
3 February 2005 Danuta Hübner : "Regional policy and the Lisbon agenda – Challenges and Opportunities" at the London School of Economics
2 February 2005 Contribution of the Structural Funds to the Lisbon objectives
2 February 2005 Commission launches ambitious Growth and Jobs strategy for the EU
28 January 2005 Latest European regional statistics confirm Commission’s proposal on Structural Funds for 2007-2013 - Map - List
15 July 2004 Questions and answers on the reform of Cohesion Policy and the Structural Funds 2007-2013
2004 Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Financial Perspectives 2007 - 2013 : COM/2004/0487 final
To learn more


Financial Perspective

Working for the Regions

Cohesion Instruments in your Country and Region




Last modified on