€612 million of EU regional funds allocated to Valencia and Ceuta
The European Commission has adopted the 2014-2020 “Operational Programmes” for the Spanish region of Valencia and the city of Ceuta. These programmes are designed to address the specific challenges faced by Valencia and Ceuta, with a particular focus on SMEs, as well as investments in research, information and communication technologies, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
European Commissioner for Regional Policy CorinaCreţu said:"I encourage Valencia and Ceuta to make effective use of the available EU funds for the 2014-2020 period, in order to deliver real benefits for citizens and local businesses. I am pleased to see that both Valencia and Ceuta have followed the Commission's encouragement to focus resources on their particular strengths and needs. I hope that the implementation of the programmes will now start as soon as possible."
The following Operational Programmes were adopted:
- Valencia: The total budget for Valencia's Operational Programme is € 1.14 billion, of which the EU will contribute €568 million. Over 80% of the available funding will be concentrated on four main priorities – research and innovation, information technologies, support to SMEs and energy efficiency. These investments are expected to enhance cooperation between research centres and SMEs in the region, involving almost 4000 innovative companies. More than 6700 Valencian research groups will have the possibility to participate in international consortia. Improvements to the competitiveness of local businesses are intended to allow 2500 medium-sized companies and 6700 small companies to reach export markets. The programme also aims to see 100% of the region's population connected to high speed broadband (at least 30 Mbps).
- Ceuta:The city of Ceuta faces particular challenges linked to its location on the north coast of Africa. With a total budget of €54.7 million, of which the EU will contribute €43.7 million, Ceuta's programme for 2014-2020 aims to reduce gaps between the city's economic and social situation and the national and European averages. Around a third of the budget will be invested in transport infrastructure, with the objective of easing daily commercial and tourist flows and achieving a 50% reduction in traffic jams on the main road starting at the border with Morocco. Particular efforts will be made to promote social inclusion and education, including support for regeneration of deprived urban communities, in order to reduce the proportion of the population living at risk of poverty (currently 44%). A 5% increase in the number of SMEs should result from different support measures, including improved access to credit for innovative and hi-tech projects.