Brussels, 11 January 2001
Commission approves EUR 675.9 million programme for Upper Normandy (France)
The Commission has approved a regional development programme for the Upper Normandy region for 2000-06. It provides for EUR 312.8 million worth of Community funding, which will help to mobilise a total package approaching EUR 675.9 million from the public and private sectors. This sum is intended to reduce unemployment and bring the rate of business start-ups up to the national average. The PORT 2000 project should result in 25 800 existing jobs being sustained and 7 000 jobs being created initially, followed by some 3 000 over the lifetime of the project (5 years). As regards training, priority will be given to the new information and telecommunications technologies.
"Upper Normandy has endorsed the inclusion of environmental considerations in all the main funding priorities of this programme," said Michel Barnier, Commissioner for regional policy, presenting the decision. "Considerable effort has been made to reconcile the need to protect the ecosystem of the Seine estuary with the growth requirements necessary for the region as a whole, based on the flagship PORT 2000 project to develop a fast port at Le Havre. I am confident that the provisions contained in this programme for consultation, publicity, training and equal opportunities will help to achieve the ambitious goals that the region has set itself regarding sustainable development, goals which are fully in tune with Community priorities."
The strategy of the Upper Normandy programme is the fruit of a consultation plan involving national government departments, the main local authorities, public bodies, the social partners and trade associations. It is based on five priorities:
Funding for this regional development programme will come from three Community Funds: the European Regional Development Fund, or ERDF (the responsibility of Mr Barnier), the European Social Fund, or ESF (under Mrs Diamantopoulou, the Commissioner for employment and social affairs), and the Guarantee Section of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, or EAGGF (overseen by Mr Fischler, Commissioner for agriculture and fisheries). The bulk of the Community share (81%) will come from the ERDF, with the ESF contributing 17% and the EAGGF 2%.
The final decision on the programming document for the Upper Normandy region will be taken by the Commission following scrutiny by the three relevant advisory committees(1). The final decision will be signed by Mr Barnier in the next few weeks.
For additional information, see: http://inforegio.ec.europa.eu
(1)The Commission's decision in principle has to be submitted for opinion to three advisory committees made up of representatives of the Member States: the Consultative Committee for the Development and Conversion of Regions, the Committee set up under Article 147 of the EC Treaty (ESF Committee) and the Committee for Agricultural Structures and Rural Development.