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Regions for economic change

This Communication presents the Regions For Economic Change initiative, which aims to help strengthen the connection between regional economic convergence and economic modernisation. With a total budget of around 375 million, the initiative allows volunteer networks of Member States, regions and cities to test best practices which are likely to support economic modernisation and increased competitiveness. Thanks to the link between thematic development and the cohesion policy programmes, projects which have been tested are rapidly disseminated in the Member States.

ACT

Communication from the Commission of 8 November 2006 - Regions for economic change [COM(2006) 675 - Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

The Commission is responding to the challenge to create growth and more and better jobs through the partnership for growth and jobs. This partnership has been reformed by the Community Lisbon Programme and national reform programmes (NRPs).

The Community Strategic Guidelines 2007-2013 in the field of cohesion and the guidelines for investments for urban development aim to assist the partnership for growth and jobs by defining areas of intervention where priority should be given in the programmes for cohesion policy for 2007-2013.

The programmes for cohesion policy for 2007-2013 receive 350 billion of Community support and lever a further 150 billion of investment from national public sources. This investment should help make the breakthrough in economic modernisation and increased competitiveness in the context of the partnership for growth and jobs, thus making a connection between regional economic convergence and economic modernisation.

The Regions for Economic Change initiative

From the viewpoint of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and as part of the urban development programme, this Communication sets out the Regions for Economic Change initiative. The aim of the latter is to test out best practices which help strengthen the link between regional economic convergence and economic modernisation.

With a total budget of around 375 million, the initiative allows volunteer networks of Member States, regions and cities to test best practices for economic modernisation and increased competitiveness.

The Commission offers the volunteer networks a number of themes related to economic modernisation and the revised Lisbon strategy. In this way, those networks which so desire have the possibility of working and cooperating more closely with the Commission on these themes.

Networks participating in the initiative select development themes which interest them and pursue them through joint networks co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Thanks to the link between thematic development and the cohesion policy programmes, projects which have been tested are rapidly disseminated in the Member States.

Fast track option

There is a fast track option within the Regions For Economic Change initiative. Volunteer networks are established around the themes (linked to economic modernisation and the renewed Lisbon strategy) selected and animated by the Commission. The fast track option therefore gives the Commission the right of initiative and allows it to play an important role in the rapid dissemination of ideas for testing selected by the networks in ERDF-assisted programmes.

Communication

In order to ensure the rapid dissemination of ideas, results and best practice, it is important to introduce effective communication on the Regions For Economic Change initiative. This entails, for example, the organisation of an annual conference on regions for economic change, the launch of a new website and the introduction of annual awards for innovation.

RELATED INSTRUMENTS

Council Decision 2006/702/EC of 6 October 2006 on Community strategic guidelines on cohesion [Official Journal L 291 of 21.10.2006].

Communication from the Commission of 5 July 2005 - Cohesion Policy in Support of Growth and Jobs - Community Strategic Guidelines, 2007-2013 [COM(2005) 299 - Not published in the Official Journal].

Last updated: 15.01.2007
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