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Commissioner Danuta Hübner signs memorandum on regional policy cooperation with Brazil

European Commission - IP/07/1803   29/11/2007

Other available languages: FR DE PT PL

IP/07/1803

Brussels, 29 November 2007

Commissioner Danuta Hübner signs memorandum on regional policy cooperation with Brazil

Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, will today in Brasilia sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazilian Ministry of National Integration to set up a structured dialogue on regional policy. At the invitation of Mr Geddel Vieira Lima, Minister of National Integration, she will also open an EU-Brazil seminar on regional policy.

Commenting ahead of the signature, Commissioner Danuta Hübner said: 'With this regional policy dialogue, we recognise that we share interests, ideals and aspirations; and that we face common challenges in balanced regional development. We are eager to learn from Brazil's experience. On our side, we would like to explain how Europe currently focuses on innovation in its regional policy, and how it has established partnerships with local and regional authorities to implement the policy. We will also share information on the tools we have successfully developed to foster cross-border cooperation.'

As a starting point for cooperation, Danuta Hübner today opens a seminar entitled: "EU-Brazil seminar on regional policies" in Brasilia. This is an opportunity for an exchange of experience and best practices. Experts from the European Commission, Spain and Portugal will brief Brazilian regional actors on the impact that European cohesion policy has had in their respective countries. The participants will also tackle other common challenges such as: urban-rural disparities, developments in the energy market, climate change and demographic challenges.

Following the seminar, the Commissioner will travel to Petrolina in the Northeast region, an important development centre. She will visit VALEXPORT, a private cooperative of local fruit producers who export grapes, mangoes and bananas. She will also see EMBRAPA, the Brazilian research centre on agriculture and cattle, one of the country's main centres for genetic research.

The Commissioner will also speak on EU regional policy and innovation at a seminar in Recife, entitled Forum Brasil Europa, organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Notes for editors

By launching co-operation with Brazil on regional policy, the Commission is following up on the commitment made in its Communication entitled: 'Towards an EU-Brazil Strategic partnership' (May 2007), in which regional policy was identified as a key area on which both sides can share information and experience. Brazil is facing sharp regional development disparities between the North and the more developed South. The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the European Commission and the Brazilian Ministry of National Integration, initiates cooperation such as:

  • Setting up technical working groups and cooperation between regions on both sides; organisation of meetings (seminars, conferences) with experts, politicians, officials, private companies and
  • Support from the European Union for reinforcing local structures and regional development agencies in Brazil;
  • Exchanges of views on issues such as: multi-level partnership (involving regional and local actors, the private sector and civil society), strategic planning and evaluation of regional policy, development of administrative capacity;
  • Information exchange on classification and definition of regions.

In February 2007, Brazil launched its National Policy for Regional Development, now formulated as a federal government policy. Brazil plans to create a National Fund for Regional Development, similar to the European Regional Development Fund.

In Brazil, the ratio between the richest and the poorest States is 1 to 9, it is very close to the EU ratio: 1 to 7.6 (GDP per head in Luxembourg and Bulgaria).

The European Commission has signed Memoranda of Understanding on regional policy cooperation with China in 2006, and with Russia last May. The ambition is to set up global cooperation networks in the field of regional policy.
More information on regional policy is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index_en.htm

On EU-Brazil cooperation, see IP/07/25


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