The Main Challenges of the Eu Regional Policy

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  • Topic: European Union, Treaty of Lisbon, Enlargement of the European Union
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Analysis of European Union 2011

Explain the main challenges of the EU regional policy in the near future.

Contents :

I-The basic objectives of the EU regional policy.2

1-Principles and Priorities of EU Regional Policy2

2-Establishment of this policy3

II- The new challenges for the future.4

1-New challenges with the last enlargement.4

2-“Region 2020” analysis5




Before the enlargement of European Union, the problems regions were:

-Historically, the classical problem region is one characterised by dying industries such as coal mining, shipbuilding, textiles and the steel industry. In Western Europe, some examples of such regions are North Eastern England, Central Scotland, Northern France and Northwest Spain.

-At the other end of the spectrum we have the poor agricultural regions. Here, some examples would be North Eastern Portugal and part of Southern Italy.

-A somewhat different problem region would be one with a poor infrastructure such as road and communications, for example. Before Ireland's membership of the old EEC, much of its infrastructure would have fallen into this category.

-Quite different from three preceding cases, we have a totally different problem region, the megalopolis. Although not a poor region, the Randstad in the Netherlands could fall into this category. Somewhat similar is the case of a capital city, which drains many of a country's resources and cultural amenities. Here, surprisingly maybe, the most notorious example is that of Athens in Greece, but London, Madrid and Paris are also important examples. In the specific case of France, in the 1950s, a French civil servant wrote of “Paris and the French Desert”. In the contrast, Germany with its important regional capitals does not experience this problem.

But now, all changed and there are a new challenge for the regional policy. In the first time we will see the basic objectives of the regional policy and the establishment of this policy. Then, in the second part we will talk about the new challenges for the future.

The basic objectives of the EU regional policy.

1- Principles and Priorities of EU Regional Policy
A) Objectives:

The basic objectives of the regional policy are:

- Helping the less privileged to catch up.

- Promote the success of the Lisbon strategy (knowledge economy), Luxembourg (European Strategy for Employment) and Gothenburg (sustainable development)

This dual ambition has involved a thorough reform of structural funds, which will start in the next budget planning (from 2007).

The novelty is that this is no longer sought territorial cohesion through investments in hard infrastructure, but primarily by strengthening the innovative capacity in regions and supporting jobs.

B) Lines of action:

- Objective 1: Economic convergence of the least developed regions. This objective is intended to accelerate the economic integration of less developed regions (in the new Member States and outermost regions)

- Objective 2: Regional Competitiveness and Employment. This Objective aims to strengthen the attractiveness of regions, innovation and entrepreneurship (Lisbon strategy) and the adaptability of workers and reform of labor markets (Luxembourg strategy). This objective is no longer zoned, but responds to a project and regional strategy.

- Objective 3 Territorial Cooperation: heir to the Community Initiative Program INTERREG the previous program.

C) Financial Instruments:

The structural funds are leveraged to the regions for their European integration and strengthening their economic weight, while this development based on strong pillars, namely research, innovation, training of workers, etc.. For the next programming, each objective should have a dedicated tool:

- The Cohesion Fund will intervene only in the convergence...
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