Regional policy is a strategic investment policy targeting all EU regions and cities in order to improve the quality of life of EU citizens, to create jobs and to promote research, development and innovation. It is also an expression of solidarity, focusing support on the less developed regions. In line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, there are four key investment priorities: research and innovation, the digital agenda, support for SMEs and the low carbon economy.
Five main Funds work together to support economic development across all EU countries: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF), Cohesion Fund (CF), European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Every EU region may benefit from the ERDF and ESF. However, only the less developed regions receive support from the CF.
Through clear and measurable targets for regional policy investments, EU countries and regions can demonstrate their contribution to achieving the Europe 2020 objectives. Public bodies, some private sector organisations (especially small business), universities, associations, NGO’s and voluntary organisations, can apply for regional funding submitted to the national or regional authority managing the relevant programme and covering a particular project.
Hundreds of thousands of projects throughout the EU have benefited from investment through EU regional policy programmes over the years. It is possible to check some examples of the wide range of projects which have received support, with the regional policy database. For example, related to my industry with the following filters: Innovation, Research and Technological Development, Spain, Catalonia, I found search results of my interest.
Source of information:
(PDF) The European Union explained: Regional Policy. (European Union, 2014).
Post written by Carmen Rafecas.