Every year the EU invests millions of Euro in job creation and economic growth, to help reduce social and economic differences between its regions. This short video will tell you more on how these EU investments can improve citizens' everyday lives by stimulating economic growth in their region.
Over the past five years, EU cohesion policy has created over 600.000 jobs; invested in the professional training of up to 15 million people every year to improve their employability; and co‑financed the construction of 25 000 km of roads and 1800 km of railways; it has also ensured the provision of clean drinking water for 3 million more people; has invested in 200 000 small and medium-sized companies and 61.000 research projects. These figures are still growing, as projects which started over the past 5 years continue to produce results.
All this is made possible by the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Social Fund, which together represent more than one-third of the EU budget.
The Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy has just published a brand new comic book called ’Partners’ which aims at presenting Regional and Urban Policy through six stories designed to appeal to a young audience. The themes covered in this album are Research & Innovation, Urban Development, Environment, Support to SMEs, Social Inclusion, ICT, Cooperation between regions, Transport, Solidarity between regions in case of natural disasters, etc. These slices of life and stories of men and women were inspired by real EU-funded projects that illustrate the European Union’s contribution to reducing differences in standards of living and supporting the regions in their development.
This comic is available in FR, EN and NL and can be ordered via EU Bookshop
A passion for cooking is transforming young lives in one of the poorest parts of England. Inspired by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, Fifteen Cornwall is more than a restaurant but a social enterprise which offers a chance to disadvantaged unemployed 16-to 24-year olds the opportunity to train as chefs. This ground-breaking initiative has trained almost 130 young people, many of whom are dealing with serious challenges such as criminal records, substance misuse, mental illness or disability. 89 of them have graduated as chefs and more than 90% are still in employment. Each year, the project invests around €1.2 million back into the local economy, creating jobs for the region’s vital tourist sector.
- Region: Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, UK
- Total budget: €5 882 000
- ERDF/ESF funding: €2 537 000
- Financing period: May 2006 – April 2015
The BEACON project faces a major challenge for Europe and the world: developing innovative technologies to meet the growing demand for energy and resources. The project focuses on bio-refining: a process using non-food crops to create biomass which can be used in products instead of crude oil. By producing renewable products from biomass, BEACON represents a green alternative to polluting fossil fuels, helping Europe to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. BEACON also supports companies in commercialising their research and exploiting intellectual property. This pioneering initiative is attracting investments to one of the UK poorest rural regions, creating vital jobs and developing advanced know-how at a global level.
- Region: West Wales and the Valleys, UK
- Total budget: €22 987 000
- ERDF funding: €11 917 000
- Financing period: December 2010 – June 2015
Top chef Jamie Oliver thanks European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund for supporting his award winning 'Fifteen Cornwall' project for budding chefs
Jamie Oliver, the world renowned British celebrity chef praises EU Structural Funds for supporting a restaurant in Cornwall that helps young people to become apprentice chefs. The 'Fifteen Cornwall' apprenticeship programme won the RegioStars Awards 2014 in the category "Inclusive Growth - jobs for the younger generation"in Brussels.
The furniture industry has for years been one of the most important economic activities in the city of Paredes, which has the highest concentration of chair factories in Europe and accounting for 65% of national furniture production. But although the industry was once highly productive, its image is now seen as old-fashioned and conservative. Art on Chairs has breathed new life into this traditional furniture industry by bringing them together with the designer world to transform chair making into an art. This fruitful cooperation between designers and the local SMEs has led to the production of top quality designer chairs, renewed pride in the work, boost of creativity in the manufacturing industry, enhanced productivity and an increase in international exports.
- Region: Região Norte, Portugal
- Total budget: €1 096 000
- ERDF funding: €931 000
- Financing period: January 2010 – May 2013
REGIOSTARS 2014 - Gdynia trolley bus network: Green trolley buses bring a better quality of urban life
The project aims to enhance the power supply system of the trolleybus traction network. It also purchased 28 new trolleybuses to increase the number of modern, eco-friendly and accessible trolleybuses. The direct objectives of the project are to increase the competitiveness of environmentally friendly public transport and to improve quality of service. Those improvements have rebuilt the image of public transport in Gdynia, causing an increase in the number of passengers, and creating direct benefits for the residents and the local economy.
- City: Gdynia, Poland
- Total budget: €24 424 000
- ERDF funding: €13 428 000
- Financing period: January 2010 – June 2013
EU regional policy helps European regions to advance together. It boosts economic growth, competitiveness and job creation – by investing billions of Euros each year, in thousands of innovative and ambitious projects throughout Europe. On March 31st, the Regiostars awards will honour 19 finalists, divided in 4 categories, and choose as winners the most inspirational and innovative EU-funded projects across the Member States.
Counting 8 EU countries and 85 million inhabitants, the Baltic Sea region faces common environmental, economic and social challenges which can only be met by working together. This short video explains how, since 2009, the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region strives to shape this area into a regional cooperation model for the whole EU, addressing common challenges and opportunities to save the sea, connect the region and increase prosperity.