High-ranking officials responsible for ERDF discuss “Regional competitiveness and employment” objective in Italy

20 octobre 2021 Pierre Perrin-Monlouis

The future of “regional competitiveness and employment” objective was the central topic debated during a seminar organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the Italian authorities in Turin on the 15th and 16th September. Fifty regions from eight Member States have discussed issues concerning innovation and sustainable development, underlining that Regional Policy’s contribution during the period 2007-2013 will provide opportunities as well as challenges for growth and jobs in the eligible regions.

The European Commission presented the European Regional Development Fund’s (ERDF) input towards the realisation of the renewed Lisbon Strategy through regional policy along three major strands identified in the “Community strategic guidelines” adopted by the Commission in July:

Making Europe and the regions a more attractive place for investment and employment,
Emphasis on knowledge and innovation, as factors of growth,
Enable the creation of more and better job opportunities
National authorities as well as Presidents, regional and provincial ministers, and over 200 high-ranking officials responsible for programming and implementation of the ERDF in Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Greece, Sweden, Czech Republic and Hungary, were present at the seminar.

Commissioner Danuta Hübner shared the positive views expressed by the participants on the Community Regional Policy objectives and declared that “the Commission will continue its efforts to support the future competitiveness regions in their demand for the level of structural funds support required to make a positive contribution to the modernisation and adaptation of these economies in line with the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy. Further reductions in the EU financial perspectives 2007-2013 could eventually put into doubt the significance and existence of a regional competitiveness objective, failing to provide valuable support to the realisation of the European Union’s priorities”.

The debate concentrated on the impulse the Structural Funds should provide to regional economies and as such make a substantial contribution to the attainment of the renewed Lisbon Strategy. The authorities from various Member States highlighted also their concern about the current state of play of the negotiations on the European Community financial perspectives 2007-2013, that risk jeopardising the preparation process and the timely implementation of regional development strategies aimed at generating economic growth and employment.

The event represented a first opportunity for future competitiveness regions to exchange views on the content and structure of a National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013, focusing in particular on the interoperability of regional, national and community interventions. Exchange of experience was also offered to the participants during two thematic workshop focused on Innovation and on Sustainable Development Policies.


Over the period 2000 to 2006, transfers from Structural Funds and instruments to the Union’s poorest regions amount to about EUR 265 billion or one third of the EU budget. Most of the funding is spent through multi-annual development programmes, managed jointly by the European Commission, the Member States and regional authorities. For the 2007-2013 period, the Commission proposal for a reformed cohesion policy amounts to EUR 336.1 billion. The new-look Cohesion Policy now being negotiated in the Council will aim at enhanced competitiveness for Europe’s economy as a whole and the convergence of the least well off Member States and regions.
More information:

Internet web site: http://www.regione.piemonte.it/industria/seminar/

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