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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Regional policy

20-05-2019

The principal aim of the EU's regional policy, also known as cohesion policy, is to address the territorial, social and economic imbalances that exist between the different regions of the EU. Regional policy covers all regions and cities of the European Union, helping to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development, and to improve citizens' quality of life. To achieve these goals and address the diverse development needs in all EU regions, €351.8 billion ...

The principal aim of the EU's regional policy, also known as cohesion policy, is to address the territorial, social and economic imbalances that exist between the different regions of the EU. Regional policy covers all regions and cities of the European Union, helping to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development, and to improve citizens' quality of life. To achieve these goals and address the diverse development needs in all EU regions, €351.8 billion – almost one third of the total EU budget – has been set aside for cohesion policy for the 2014-2020 period. This financial support is distributed through two main funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF). Together with the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), they make up the European structural and investment (ESI) funds, which provide support that can make a real difference to the lives of people in the EU's regions. With the current programming period (2014-2020) drawing to a close, work is now under way on planning the cohesion policy priorities for the next programming period (2021-2027). During its 2014-2019 term the European Parliament has been called upon numerous times to adopt new legislative acts, amend older rules and to provide opinions on many topics relating to the EU's regional policy. Within the European Parliament, the Committee on Regional Policy is responsible for the Union's regional development and cohesion policy, as set out in the Treaties. In anticipation of its expected withdrawal from the EU, the UK, until now a net contributor to the EU budget, will no longer contribute to the post-2020 EU budget, which means that the EU will have fewer resources to allocate to its policies in the future, including cohesion policy. The European Parliament has, however, strongly advocated maintaining the level of funding for cohesion policy at its current level or even increasing it.

Common Provisions Regulation: New rules for cohesion policy for 2021-2027

22-03-2019

For the next EU budget, covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposes to update EU cohesion policy with a new set of rules. The proposal for a Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) sets out common provisions for seven shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa Instrument. Additional ...

For the next EU budget, covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposes to update EU cohesion policy with a new set of rules. The proposal for a Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) sets out common provisions for seven shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa Instrument. Additional specific regulations add certain provisions needed to cater for the particularities of individual funds, in order to take into account their different rationales, target groups and implementation methods. The proposed CPR is of the utmost importance as it will set the main rules that govern the above-mentioned funds for the forthcoming period. While the proposal builds upon the previous sets of rules covering the 2014-2020 period, it nevertheless introduces a number of innovations. It aims, amongst other things, to simplify and improve synergies between the different EU policy tools. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Women in local and regional government

07-03-2019

Local and regional institutions are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a public office career at national and European level. Nevertheless, data show that it is not always easy for women to participate in local or regional government structures. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance.

Local and regional institutions are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a public office career at national and European level. Nevertheless, data show that it is not always easy for women to participate in local or regional government structures. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance.

Demographic trends in EU regions

29-01-2019

The European Union has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter in the five and a half decades since 1960 – to a current level of over 500 million people. However, this population is now growing too slowly, and is even expected to decline in the longer term. Issues of demography are likely to have a considerable impact on EU society. Most models used for analysing population trends suggest that, in the coming years, the EU's population will continue to age as a result of consistently ...

The European Union has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter in the five and a half decades since 1960 – to a current level of over 500 million people. However, this population is now growing too slowly, and is even expected to decline in the longer term. Issues of demography are likely to have a considerable impact on EU society. Most models used for analysing population trends suggest that, in the coming years, the EU's population will continue to age as a result of consistently low levels of fertility and extended longevity. Although migration may play an important role in the population dynamics within many of the EU Member States, it is unlikely that it can reverse the ongoing trend of population ageing. Demographic developments have various implications for European regions. Some of them, especially rural and remote ones, are experiencing a considerable decline in population numbers. This situation may further exacerbate the economic decline regions are already facing, and thereby widen the gap between wealthy and poor ones. Therefore, demography also severely affects the social, economic and territorial cohesion of the EU. On the other hand, the heavy concentration of population in urban centres also creates certain negative consequences, such as pollution and lack of affordable housing. Recent migration trends have improved the demographic balance in various EU regions; that said, migration affects EU regions in an uneven manner. The European structural and investment funds are mainly used for boosting economic growth in European regions, but they may also serve, in combination with other EU funds, to address issues stemming from demographic challenges. The EU also uses a number of instruments to address migration-related issues in its territories most affected by the issue.

The regions in the digital single market: ICT and digital opportunities for European regions

19-04-2018

The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. The European Commission estimates that completing the digital single market could contribute €415 billion per year to Europe's economy, create 3.8 million jobs and transform public services. In addition, many future jobs will require information and communications technologies (ICT) skills, rendering the process of acquiring digital skills an imperative. The European Commission has presented several initiatives to ...

The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. The European Commission estimates that completing the digital single market could contribute €415 billion per year to Europe's economy, create 3.8 million jobs and transform public services. In addition, many future jobs will require information and communications technologies (ICT) skills, rendering the process of acquiring digital skills an imperative. The European Commission has presented several initiatives to boost the use of ICT in Europe. The Digital Agenda for Europe, announced in 2010 in the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy, aimed at promoting economic recovery and improving social inclusion through a more digitally proficient Europe. The Digital Single Market strategy, introduced in 2015, complements the Digital Agenda for Europe. Achieving a digital single market will ensure that Europe maintains its position as a world leader in the digital economy, helping European companies to grow globally. In 2016, the European Commission adopted a new Skills Agenda for Europe which includes measures on the acquisition of digital skills. Although many of the digital single market priorities are primarily dealt with at national level, various initiatives can be explored at the local and regional level. Regions and cities can plan and pursue their own digital strategies in the interests of enhancing economic growth and to promote their citizens' wellbeing. Enhanced use of digital technologies can improve citizens' access to information and culture, promote open government, equality and non-discrimination. However, a number of challenges need to be addressed to fully reap the benefits of digitalisation. Personnel with ICT skills are still lacking in Europe and many European citizens are not adequately trained to carry out ICT-related tasks. In addition, broadband connectivity in some parts of Europe remains slow. Although certain EU regions and local authorities experiment with new technologies, not all of them have managed to provide a high-level range of digital services and ICT related activities. This briefing is an update of an earlier edition, published in October 2015.

Challenges for EU cohesion policy: Issues in the forthcoming post-2020 reform

16-02-2018

The departure of the United Kingdom from the EU will have a significant impact on the EU budget. The next Multiannual Financial Framework, to be presented in May 2018, could make fewer resources available for cohesion policy in the post-2020 period. At this critical juncture, the discussion amongst policy-makers on the future priorities of cohesion policy is now heating up. Among the topics widely debated are the need to make cohesion funds simpler and more flexible for beneficiaries to use, while ...

The departure of the United Kingdom from the EU will have a significant impact on the EU budget. The next Multiannual Financial Framework, to be presented in May 2018, could make fewer resources available for cohesion policy in the post-2020 period. At this critical juncture, the discussion amongst policy-makers on the future priorities of cohesion policy is now heating up. Among the topics widely debated are the need to make cohesion funds simpler and more flexible for beneficiaries to use, while also strengthening the contribution of cohesion policy to the EU's economic governance and increasing its added value. One point of the debate relates to the way cohesion policy addresses new or growing challenges such as migration, environment and digitalisation. Yet another includes finding the most efficient form of support for beneficiaries: should it be grants, financial instruments, or possibly a mix of all of these? Other specific matters raised relate to the urban dimension in cohesion policy and the impact that the policy can have upon growth, jobs and innovation in rural areas, regions lagging behind, as well as regions with special geographical characteristics. Last but not least, the relationship between cohesion policy and the European Fund for Strategic Investment is much debated. The European Commission (EC) has published a number of white papers on the future of the EU that provide further ideas for reflection on the priorities of the Union. These reflections also have repercussions for cohesion policy. In addition, the 7th EC Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion also provides insights into the direction cohesion policy is likely to take. This briefing is an update of an earlier edition, published in September 2017, PE 608.722.

Challenges for EU cohesion policy: Issues in the forthcoming post-2020 reform

29-09-2017

The debate on the shape of the post-2020 cohesion policy is well under way. Stakeholders have identified a number of principal issues or questions in this regard, relating to the operation of the policy itself as well as its impact and relationship with other EU polices and with the wider goals and objectives of the Union. One issue debated is how cohesion policy can best contribute to the twin objectives of competitiveness and cohesion. Finding the most efficient form of support is another important ...

The debate on the shape of the post-2020 cohesion policy is well under way. Stakeholders have identified a number of principal issues or questions in this regard, relating to the operation of the policy itself as well as its impact and relationship with other EU polices and with the wider goals and objectives of the Union. One issue debated is how cohesion policy can best contribute to the twin objectives of competitiveness and cohesion. Finding the most efficient form of support is another important point of discussion: should it be grants, repayable assistance, financial instruments, or possibly a mix of all of these along with further thematic concentration? In addition, the way that cohesion policy addresses new or growing challenges such as migration has been raised. Simplification of the policy for beneficiaries, flexibility, the importance of achieving better governance, and the contribution of cohesion policy to the EU's economic governance are all widely debated. Other specific matters raised relate to the urban dimension in cohesion policy and the impact that the policy can have upon growth, jobs and innovation in sparsely populated areas, regions lagging behind and regions with special geographical characteristics. The departure of the United Kingdom from the EU will have a significant impact on the EU budget and consequently on the financial envelope for cohesion policy. Finally, the European Commission (EC) has published a number of white papers on the future of the EU that provide further ideas for reflection on the overall functioning and priorities of the Union. These reflections also have repercussions for cohesion policy. This briefing is an update of an earlier edition, published in February 2017.

Harnessing globalisation for local and regional authorities: Challenges and possible solutions

29-09-2017

Globalisation has various positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, economic opportunities can emerge. Exports may flourish, companies may find new global customers, knowledge may be easily circulated, and trade may pick up, thus stimulating economic growth. Interaction through new technological instruments helps to interconnect people in different parts of the world. However, globalisation may also have disadvantages. For instance, various EU industries (e.g. coal, steel, iron, shipbuilding ...

Globalisation has various positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, economic opportunities can emerge. Exports may flourish, companies may find new global customers, knowledge may be easily circulated, and trade may pick up, thus stimulating economic growth. Interaction through new technological instruments helps to interconnect people in different parts of the world. However, globalisation may also have disadvantages. For instance, various EU industries (e.g. coal, steel, iron, shipbuilding, automotive and textiles) have been affected by global competition, and have had to downsize their activities. Cheap imports of non-EU manufacturing goods have led to the decline of various EU industrial sectors, but also to relocations, closures and redundancies. In addition, globalisation has an environmental, demographic, technological and cultural dimension. The impact of globalisation therefore affects the activities and development of regional and local entities within the EU. In order to address all these issues, the European Commission has presented a reflection paper on harnessing globalisation. This briefing addresses some of the most important challenges that globalisation brings to EU regions, and sets out ideas that may be useful in tackling these challenges. Harnessing globalisation requires a holistic approach. European, national and local synergies will have to be established to address the multi-layered challenges stemming from globalisation. Serious thinking will have to be done on how to empower local and regional authorities in order to address these challenges successfully.

Sources of EU funding for tourism-related activities

05-07-2017

There is no specific EU fund dedicated to tourism as such. However, although not strictly focused on tourism, a number of EU funds may help to boost its prospects and address its challenges. Depending on the priorities of each EU funding programme, various legal entities (such as public bodies, companies, SMEs, research organisations, universities, non-governmental organisations and tourism cluster initiatives) may benefit from EU funding in order to run activities that may have a positive impact ...

There is no specific EU fund dedicated to tourism as such. However, although not strictly focused on tourism, a number of EU funds may help to boost its prospects and address its challenges. Depending on the priorities of each EU funding programme, various legal entities (such as public bodies, companies, SMEs, research organisations, universities, non-governmental organisations and tourism cluster initiatives) may benefit from EU funding in order to run activities that may have a positive impact on tourism.

Building blocks for post-2020 cohesion policy

07-06-2017

Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU states that the Union should pursue actions leading to the strengthening of its economic, social and territorial cohesion as well as to reduce regional disparities. The cohesion policy of the EU aims at addressing these aims. An own-initiative report on building blocks for a post-2020 cohesion policy is to be voted during the June plenary session. It gives an overview of the priorities for the future of cohesion policy.

Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU states that the Union should pursue actions leading to the strengthening of its economic, social and territorial cohesion as well as to reduce regional disparities. The cohesion policy of the EU aims at addressing these aims. An own-initiative report on building blocks for a post-2020 cohesion policy is to be voted during the June plenary session. It gives an overview of the priorities for the future of cohesion policy.

Gaidāmie notikumi

25-06-2019
Meeting EU energy and climate goals: Energy storage for grids and low-carbon mobility
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