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JESSICA ('Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas') is a European Commission initiative that has been developed with the cooperation of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB).
JESSICA's goal is to foster sustainable investment in Europe's urban areas and promote more growth and jobs. JESSICA allows managing authorities in the Member States to invest some of their EU regional funding allocation for 2007-13 into Urban Development Funds (UDFs).
UDF funding can take the form of recyclable loans, guarantees and equity, which could be invested in a variety of urban renewal projects. On the ground, money from JESSICA may be used to boost investment in urban infrastructure, help with the rehabilitation of brownfield sites, promote energy efficiency and finance social housing projects.
Three similar financing packages run under the EU's Cohesion Policy for 2007-13, namely JASPERS ('Joint Assistance to Support Projects in the European Regions'), JEREMIE ('Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises') and JASMINE ('Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions in Europe').