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  • The European Union's Cohesion Policy: investing in your Regions and Cities

    The European Union's Cohesion Policy: investing in your Regions and Cities

    16/07/2014

    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.

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  • Comic book "Partners"

    Comic book

    13/05/2014

    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

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  • REGIOSTARS 2014 - Gdynia trolley bus network: Green trolley buses bring a better quality of urban life

    REGIOSTARS 2014 - Gdynia trolley bus network: Green trolley buses bring a better quality of urban life

    31/03/2014

    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

    Press Release 

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  • REGIOSTARS 2014 - Art on Chairs: Portugal’s innovative chair-makers gain a global reputation

    REGIOSTARS 2014 - Art on Chairs: Portugal’s innovative chair-makers gain a global reputation

    31/03/2014

    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

    Press Release

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  • REGIOSTARS 2014 - BEACON: Creating green jobs in rural Wales

    REGIOSTARS 2014 - BEACON: Creating green jobs in rural Wales

    31/03/2014

    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

    Press Release 

    More information about the project

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  • REGIOSTARS 2014 - Fifteen Cornwall: Launching a new life in the kitchen

    REGIOSTARS 2014 - Fifteen Cornwall: Launching a new life in the kitchen

    31/03/2014

    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

    Press Release

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  • RegioStars Awards 2014

    RegioStars Awards 2014

    21/03/2014

    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.

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  • Cooperating together for our region

    Cooperating together for our region

    11/11/2013

    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.

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  • REGIO STARS 2013 winner – Smart Growth

    REGIO STARS 2013 winner – Smart Growth

    31/01/2013The Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto, UPTEC, is an outstanding example of how to bring academic knowledge and business closer together, through its strategy of sharing research findings and fostering local entrepreneurship. It is helping to turn the northern region of Portugal into a centre for innovation. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the project is spreading modern, structural change across the north of Portugal, demonstrating how active universities in previously poorer regions of Europe can lead the move to smart growth.

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  • Regional policy for real people – Testimonial by Vera Santos, dancer, in Porto (Portugal)

    Regional policy for real people – Testimonial by Vera Santos, dancer, in Porto (Portugal)

    31/01/2013Vera Santos lives near Porto’s Creative Industries Centre and works as a contemporary dance teacher. More recently she has been developing training tools through the work of dance, in the area of entrepreneurship associated with creativity, thanks to the EU-funded UPTEC project.

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  • REGIO STARS 2013 winner – Sustainable Growth

    REGIO STARS 2013 winner – Sustainable Growth

    31/01/2013

    ENWORKS, in Manchester, is a unique environmental advice and support service that helps companies in the north west of England to make better use of increasingly scarce resources. Since 2007, with co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund, it has advised 4 000 small businesses, helping them to make annual savings of more than €16 million through resource efficiency, to cut 34 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, and to create or save 967 jobs. ENWORKS shows how green innovation can boost productivity, cut costs and increase profits.

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  • Testimonial by Darren Beard, employee of Cleanbake, in Lancashire (UK)

    Testimonial by Darren Beard, employee of Cleanbake, in Lancashire (UK)

    31/01/2013Training followed by Darren Beard thanks to the EU-funded ENWORKS project has allowed this worker to make a useful contribution to environmentally friendly industrial practices.

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  • Regional policy for real people – Testimonial by Mirosław Bancerz, maintenance worker in Elblag (Poland)

    Regional policy for real people – Testimonial by Mirosław Bancerz, maintenance worker in Elblag (Poland)

    31/01/2013Mirosław Bancerz lost his job as a heavy goods vehicle driver when he started to develop glaucoma at the age of 58. But thanks to the EU-funded Individual Employment Paths project, he acquired new electrical and maintenance skills, and now works as caretaker for a housing cooperative.

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  • REGIO STARS 2013 winner – CityStar

    REGIO STARS 2013 winner – CityStar

    31/01/2013Offering local people the opportunity to take decisions about their own neighbourhoods can help transform deprived city areas into more agreeable places to live. In Germany, Berlin’s Neighbourhood Management programme has proved that this approach works, by sharing responsibility for local development with Neighbourhood Councils. This innovative project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, helps people to build partnerships and revitalise their urban environment. It is enabling Berlin to become a ‘socially integrative city’.

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  • REGIO STARS 2013 winner – Inclusive Growth

    REGIO STARS 2013 winner – Inclusive Growth

    31/01/2013

    Many obstacles make it hard for people to find a job when they are over 45, have been out of work for some time, or have disabilities or health problems. The Individual Employment Paths project in Elblag, northern Poland, offers the expert assistance these people need to overcome the barriers and secure fulfilling occupations. Individual Employment Paths, co-funded by the European Social Fund, contributes to the EU’s cohesion policy objective of economic growth and job creation.

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  • Testimonial by Ahmet Taner, head of the Alevi community in Berlin (Germany)

    Testimonial by Ahmet Taner, head of the Alevi community in Berlin (Germany)

    31/01/2013

    Ahmet Taner, head of the Alevi Muslim community in Berlin, is proud of helping his community participate in the social life of the city thanks to the EU-funded Neighbourhood Management initiative in Berlin.

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  • Rural-urban partnership

    Rural-urban partnership

    29/08/2012

    Europe is a complex patchwork of urban and rural areas, where people live in different ways but face common challenges. City- and country-dwellers are mutually dependent, and both sides need to cooperate to achieve a sustainable future for everyone. The European Union’s Rurban initiative fosters formal and informal partnerships around a whole string of issues such as research and innovation, energy, water supply, food production, transport, tourism and leisure, and many more. Through its cohesion policy, the EU invests more than one-third of its budget in promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive development across Europe. The aim is for all regions, whether urban or rural, to have equal access to the benefits of growth.

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  • Rurban – Finland

    Rurban – Finland

    29/08/2012In sparsely populated Central Finland, inter-municipal co-operation is a long-standing tradition, with communities entering into voluntary agreements when necessary to provide key services. The European Commission, through the European Regional Development Fund is encouraging co-operative initiatives in Central Finland, including the development of more widespread broadband communications. This kind of action, reaching out to citizens in outlying areas, contributes to achieving the goal of 'smart and inclusive growth'.

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  • Rurban – Germany

    Rurban – Germany

    29/08/2012In today's Europe, rural-urban relations can be complex and challenging. In the Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg, in Germany, rural-urban partnerships, with support from the European Commission via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), are offering new opportunities in the fields of food production, tourism and energy supply.

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  • Rurban - Italy

    Rurban - Italy

    29/08/2012In the province of Forlì-Cesena, in central Italy, the European Union has helped a network of medium-sized cities and rural areas to share resources, encouraging sustainable growth and improving the local quality of life. The University of Bologna’s centre for food and agro-industrial research is based in Cesena. Part-financed by the EU, it helps local businesses and food growers to improve their products and boost exports, through research, advice and cooperation.

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  • RegioStars 2012 - Petra Könighofer from Eco World Styria

    RegioStars 2012 - Petra Könighofer from Eco World Styria

    13/06/2012A portrait of Petra Könighofer from Eco World Styria Eco World Styria started up in 2005, in Austria’s Styria region, with the aim of creating a location for the development of innovative green businesses, able to compete with the best at a global level. Since then, it has established itself as a ground breaker in developing clean, environmentally friendly technologies. By encouraging cleantech companies with innovative ideas, this outstanding project has helped create 5 000 jobs and grow the local economy. These local firms have expanded their workforce by over 10% a year, on average. Winner of the RegioStars 2012 Award - Smart Growth category

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  • Georgina MacLeod, the O4O project

    Georgina MacLeod, the O4O project

    13/06/2012Testimonial of Georgina MacLeod about the O4O project. People in the EU are living longer than ever, and the proportion of the population aged over 55 is growing all the time. In some rural areas on the fringes of northern Europe, many pensioners live by themselves, and risk becoming isolated and marginalised if public transport and other services are not available and they cannot afford special care. In these remote regions, skilled staff, such as carers and nurses, are often hard to recruit and retain. The O4O project – Older people for Older people – co-financed by the European Union, responded to this challenge, using existing skills and experience within ageing communities. O4O shows older people how they can take responsibility for providing the services they need, and organises support across rural Scotland, Finland, Greenland, Northern Ireland and Sweden. At a time when public spending is under pressure in many parts of the EU, the project demonstrates how vital networks and facilities can be maintained in a way that also encourages older people to stay active and make an important contribution to society. Winner of the RegioStars 2012 Award, Inclusive Growth category

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  • Trixie Neilson from GRaBS project

    Trixie Neilson from GRaBS project

    13/06/2012Testimonial of Trixie Neilson from GRaBS project. Urban areas are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. To enable European towns and cities to adapt successfully to the challenges of extreme weather and warming temperatures, and to achieve sustainable growth, local people need to be consulted and actively involved in improving their environment. The GRaBS project – Green and Blue Space Adaptation for Urban Areas and Eco-towns – focused on ‘green’ open spaces and ‘blue’ water resources. Trees and grasslands, for example, help to lower temperatures in towns, through evaporation. The project worked with local communities, helping them to improve their own environment and create healthier, safer and more pleasant living spaces for everyone. Winner of RegioStars 2012 Award - SUSTAINABLE GROWTH category

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  • Bledi Zuta, the SÖM project

    Bledi Zuta, the SÖM project

    13/06/2012Testimonial of Bledi Zuta, the SÖM project There is no simple solution for regenerating run-down urban areas. But in South East Malmö, Sweden, a neighbourhood with a population of 80 000, the SÖM project offered an outstanding example of how measures working together can bring new hope to a depressed community. The project started by analysing the needs of local people in four of Malmö’s poorer areas. This generated 10 projects on issues such as social integration, local growth and job creation. Partnership was key to success, so the project built a network of public and private participants; contacting businesses, universities, property owners, NGOs and community groups. Within a year, they created a coordination platform to ensure the best use of EU structural funding. Winner of Regiostars 2012 Award, Citystar category

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  • LABEL: Uwe Restetzki (story)

    LABEL: Uwe Restetzki (story)

    01/10/2011This clip presents the work of Uwe Restetzki, senior fire officer in Görlitz, Germany. Discover how the LABEL project, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), allows his service to offer the people of Görlitz better protection by reducing the risk of flooding from the Neisse river.

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  • LABEL: Vladimir Žák (story)

    LABEL: Vladimir Žák (story)

    01/10/2011This clip shows the work of Vladimir Žák, manager of the Tynec marina in the Czech Republic. Discover how the participation of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the LABEL project allowed his marina to come to life and develop through the creation of a flood-plain forest located upstream on the Elbe river.

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  • ROMA: Ioan Lakatos (story)

    ROMA: Ioan Lakatos (story)

    01/10/2011In this video profile, Ioan Lakatos explains how the ROMA project funded by the ERDF plays a role in the company he owns. A Roma himself, Ioan convinced 200 Roma in Bihor county to take a recruitment test. He is thankful for the project not only because it allowed him, as an employer, to choose the right profiles for his company, but also because he sees it as a great opportunity to help his community.

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  • UGR: Christian Wagner (story)

    UGR: Christian Wagner (story)

    01/10/2011In this video profile, professor of experimental physics Christian Wagner explains how the UGR project impacts on his life and on the lives of some of his students. As a professor, he sees students who have spent their first two years studying in Nancy or in Luxembourg before spending their third year at the University of Saarland, where he works. The UGR project, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is important for them and for him, because it offers harmonised evaluations and simplifies administrative formalities. Since the project began, he has noticed many improvements and his daily work has become much easier.

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  • UGR: Françoise Lartillot (portrait)

    UGR: Françoise Lartillot (portrait)

    01/10/2011In this video portrait, Françoise Lartillot, professor and researcher at Paul Verlaine University in Metz, explains to us how the UGR project has changed the way she works. The UGR project in particular enables her and other researchers to develop joint projects. She sees the UGR as a very rewarding project, notably through its open human approach.

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  • UGR: Sven Clément (story)

    UGR: Sven Clément (story)

    01/10/2011In this video profile, Sven Clément, a third-year student in economic informatics at the University of Saarbrücken, explains the advantages of the UGR project for his studies. The UGR project, supported by the ERDF, makes it easy for him to consult his grades and access the libraries of all member universities for free. Furthermore, the intercultural aspect of the UGR project allows him to forge a better understanding of the people he may have to work with, be they French, Belgian, German or Luxembourger.

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  • UGR: Pascale Renders (portrait)

    UGR: Pascale Renders (portrait)

    01/10/2011In this video portrait, Pascale Renders, a young Belgian PhD student at the University of Liège and University of Nancy, tells us how her work could have been much more straightforward if the University of the Greater Region (UGR) project had been in place when she began both the administrative process to enrol at the University of Nancy and her search for funding for her doctorate. The difficulties faced by Pascale, as well as the issue of moving between universities, are now however a thing of the past as a result of the UGR project, which has received backing from the EU via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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  • ROMA: Daroczi Zoltanne (story)

    ROMA: Daroczi Zoltanne (story)

    01/10/2011This video profile tells the story of Daroczi Zoltanne, a resident of Biharkeresztes in Hungary. As a mother of two, Daroczi had a hard time after losing her previous job in child care, but thanks to the ROMA project supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) she found a new job as a social worker which allowed her to put more food on her children’s dinner plates and to send them to a better school.

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  • RegioStars Awards 2011: SLIM project (story)

    RegioStars Awards 2011: SLIM project (story)

    23/06/2011In this video story, Rikard Boström, a young computer software designer, tells us how he found a job directly linked to both his education and career ambitions. While still a student at the University of Karlstad (Sweden), Rikard had the opportunity to make contact with the Tieto company, his current employer, at a gathering of students and businesses specialising in telecommunications and information technologies. This gathering, organised by ‘Compare Testlab’, a foundation directly supported by the EU through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), led to a traineeship and a dissertation which then turned into a job offer.

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  • RegioStars Awards 2011: Amsterdam Smart City (story)

    RegioStars Awards 2011: Amsterdam Smart City (story)

    23/06/2011This video tells the story of Wim Kuiper, a resident of Geuzenveld in Amsterdam, who, along with his wife, is involved in the ‘Smart Meter’ scheme (one of various pilot-projects initiated as part of the ‘Amsterdam Smart City’ programme) co-funded by the EU under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). His testimony tells us more about a technology (based on inserting a smart card in the meter) which allows the couple to keep a detailed eye on their consumption and, as a result, to regulate it better.

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  • RegioStars Awards 2011: GEMS project (story)

    RegioStars Awards 2011: GEMS project (story)

    23/06/2011

    In this video story, Richard Wynn-Ellisan, an engineering student at Llandrillo College in north Wales, tells us how he discovered and joined the Bridge Marine Science Group, supported by the EU as part of the GEMS project (Growth in Environmental Marine Science) and co-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This experience has enabled him to gain a foothold in the professional sector without waiting until the end of his studies, when he hopes eventually to set up his own wholesale fishing business in the region.

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  • RegioStars Awards 2011 (CIVITAS) (story)

    RegioStars Awards 2011 (CIVITAS) (story)

    23/06/2011In this video portrait, Eugenia Vasconcelos, a native and resident of Funchal, explains how the introduction of a bus route near her home has changed her life. Today, at nearly 80 years of age, she is rediscovering the freedom she had as a teenager: going out, moving around, getting together with other people, and so on. This achievement falls within the framework of an innovative and sustainable mobility policy implemented by the local authorities and given direct support by the EU.

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  • Danube Bridge 2: Mitroi Nicolae Daniel (story)

    Danube Bridge 2: Mitroi Nicolae Daniel (story)

    08/12/2010This video profiles Mitroi Nicolae Daniel, a native of Calafat and responsible for a construction team working on the Calafat-Vidin bridge. He, like many local workers, has found employment that is opening up new perspectives thanks to this project co-funded by the ERDF. As the head of a team responsible for laying the underground pipes that are designed to reduce water accumulation, he is developing a rewarding set of skills.

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  • NEWADA: László Szabo (story)

    NEWADA: László Szabo (story)

    08/12/2010This video profiles László Szabo, a customs officer in Mohacs, a small town at the crossroads between Hungary, Serbia and Croatia. Thanks to the NEWADA project, co-financed by the ERDF, he is now able to work in more modern conditions with his Serb and Croat colleagues.

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  • Danubeparks: Mathias Schmidt (story)

    Danubeparks: Mathias Schmidt (story)

    08/12/2010This video profiles Mathias Schmidt, one of the many scientists involved in the Danubeparks project. A native of the Danube region, and now a research assistant in ornithology for Birdlife Austria, he is actively contributing to restoration of the river’s banks. In particular, he spent two years studying two species of birds threatened by the construction of a dyke.

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  • Danube Limes: Péter Czukor (story)

    Danube Limes: Péter Czukor (story)

    08/12/2010This video profiles Péter Czukor, a Hungarian student of archaeology. Courtesy of the Danube Limes project, co-funded by the ERDF, he is discovering news ways of working directly on the ground.

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  • RegioStars 2010: Micro-finance (story)

    RegioStars 2010: Micro-finance (story)

    01/05/2010Portrait d’Amal Jasm, dirigeante d’entreprise, originaire du Kurdistan, installée à Katrineholm en Suède. Y lancer son entreprise demande un travail administratif important qu’elle a pu gérer au mieux grâce à l’aide du projet «Micro-financement» soutenu par la politique régionale de l’UE. Cette vidéo a été réalisée dans le cadre du projet «Micro-financement», lauréat RegioStars 2010 dans la catégorie «Intégration des migrants ou des groupes marginalisés dans les zones urbaines».

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  • The taxi driver

    The taxi driver

    07/01/2010José Manuel Ruiz Garcia talks about how regional policy has benefited his work. José Manuel Ruiz Garcia is a taxi driver in Cadiz (Andalusia, Spain). He has experience of the city and its urban traffic from before and after the railway improvement works – the railway now runs below ground. The works in question were funded with the help of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Today, he is able to talk about real mobility in his city while referring back to the difficulties of the past.

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  • RegioStars 2010: the industrial designer

    RegioStars 2010: the industrial designer

    05/01/2010Profile of Michaël Verheyden, a handbag designer in the Genk region. This video was produced as part of the “C-Mine” project, RegioStars 2010 winner in the “Innovative use of brownfield sites in an urban context” category.

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  • RegioStars 2010: “new business model” project (story)

    RegioStars 2010: “new business model” project (story)

    05/01/2010Story of Günter Lohr, pensioner living day-to-day with health problems, but who has benefited from telemedicine. This video was produced as part of the “New business model” project, the RegioStars 2010 winner in the “ICT applications by or for SMEs” category.

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  • RegioStars 2010: Computer literacy (story)

    RegioStars 2010: Computer literacy (story)

    05/01/2010Profile of Edvardas Gurčinas, a former engineer who lives in the Vilnius region. This video was produced as part of the “Computer Literacy” project, a RegioStars 2010 winner in the “ICT applications for e-inclusion” category.

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  • The industrial designer

    The industrial designer

    01/07/2007Michaël Ketschler explains how regional policy has impacted positively on his working life. Michaël Ketschler works as an industrial designer with an Austrian company. As the developer of a project being funded with the help of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), his company was able to offer him a job.

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  • The fisherman

    The fisherman

    01/07/2007Peter Ďuroška explains how regional policy has impacted positively on his working life. Peter Ďuroška has worked for 22 years as a fisherman in Slovakia. For a long time, water pollution prevented him from properly going about his job. Today, with the help of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), his region boasts some of the cleanest waters in Europe.

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EU Regional Policy: Stay informed