EU regional policy: boosting your local economy 

Cerdanya Hospital in Spain - a project co-financed by the European Union 

The EU is not just about Europe, it's also about its regions. Every year more than a third of the EU budget is invested in regions to stimulate growth, create jobs, boost competitiveness and improve sustainability and the quality of life. It also helps member states to reduce regional and social disparities. As the EP votes on the EU's budget this week, which covers funding for regions, we take a look at four success stories co-financed by the EU's regional policy funds.

On Tuesday 19 November, the Parliament votes on the EU’s long-run budget for 2014-2020. The following day, MEPs vote on the deal struck with the Council on the reform of key regulation covering all EU regional policy funds. The new rules aim to cut red tape. MEPs also want to ensure more flexible planning and more influence for regional partners. From 2014-2020 there is a budget of €325 billion for the EU's regional policy, which will focus on growth and jobs.

From improving waste management to boosting transport links

Ecoparque de La Rioja in Spain was inaugurated in 2003 thanks to €12.5 million from the EU. The plant processes 148,000 tonnes of waste each year, generating products such as biogas, compost and enough electricity to supply a town of 20,000 inhabitants. Ecoparque doors are also open to visitors to help raise awareness about environmental issues.

Due to the increase in trade, more integrated and sustainable transport links became necessary in the Baltic Sea. The Integrating Logistics Centre Networks in the Baltic Sea Region (InLoC) created cooperative networks in the transport chain and assessed logistics centres in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. As a result the extension of Muuga Harbour in Estonia and other relevant projects have already begun. InLoC benefitted from an EU Investment of just over one million euros.

KCC Creative Coaching Centre Project, in Berlin, Germany, fosters creative industries in the city by offering valuable advice to entrepreneurs. Since 2008, the KCC has successfully assisted 111 projects by offering management advice, help with finding funding and networking possibilities. KCC received €525,000 in EU funding.

The Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto (UPTEC) in Portugal is a park combining technology, creative industries, marine science and biotechnology. With an EU Investment of €15.4 million it has boosted jobs and enterprises in the region. This includes some 110 firms, including 95 start-ups, five large companies and five private innovation centres. Of the 800 jobs created, 95% were taken up college, masters and PHD graduates.

For more details and contacts, click on the link for the press release on the right.

TOP 5 receiving countries (2007-2013) 
  • Poland (€67 billion) 
  • Spain (€35 billion) 
  • Italy (€28 billion) 
  • Czech Republic (€27 billion) 
  • Germany (€25 billion)