REPORT on the urban dimension of cohesion policy in the new programming period
19.2.2009 - (2008/2130(INI))
Committee on Regional Development
Rapporteur: Oldřich Vlasák
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
on the urban dimension of cohesion policy in the new programming period
The European Parliament,
– having regard to Articles 158 and 159 of the EC Treaty,
– having regard to the First Action Programme for the Implementation of the Territorial Agenda of the European Union('the First Action Programme'), adopted at the Informal Council of Ministers responsible for spatial planning and development held in Ponta Delgada (Azores) on 23-24 November 2007,
– having regard to the Territorial Agenda of the EU ('the Territorial Agenda') and the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities ('the Leipzig Charter'), which were both adopted at the Informal Council of Ministers responsible for spatial planning and urban development held in Leipzig on 24-25 May 2007,
– having regard to the “Bristol Accord” adopted at the Informal Council of Ministers on sustainable communities held in Bristol on 6-7 December 2005,
– having regard to the “Urban acquis” adopted at the Informal Council of Ministers responsible for territorial cohesion, held in Rotterdam on 29 November 2004,
– having regard to the New Charter of Athens 2003, proclaimed at the European Council of Town Planners in Lisbon on 20 November 2003 and its vision for the future of European cities,
– having regard to the “Lille Action Programme” adopted at the Informal Council of Ministers responsible for urban affairs held in Lille on 3 November 2000,
– having regard to the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP), adopted at the Informal Council of Ministers responsible for spatial planning held in Potsdam on 11 May 1999,
– having regard to the Charter of European Cities and Towns towards Sustainability as approved at the European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns in Aalborg, Denmark on 27 May 1994,
– having regard to the Commission Communication of 6 October 2008 entitled "Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion: Turning territorial diversity into strength” (COM(2008)0616),
– having regard to the Commission Communication of 19 June 2008 entitled "Fifth progress report on economic and social cohesion: Growing regions, growing Europe" (COM(2008)0371),
– having regard to the Commission Communication of 14 May 2008 entitled "The results of the negotiations concerning cohesion policy strategies and programmes for the programming period 2007-2013" (COM(2008)0301),
– having regard to the Commission Communication of 30 May 2007 entitled “Fourth Report on Economic and Social Cohesion” (COM(2007)0273),
– having regard to the Guide from the Commission on “The urban dimension in Community policies for the period 2007 – 2013” adopted on 24 May 2007,
– having regard to the Working Paper of the Commission on “The territorial and urban dimension in the national strategic reference frameworks and operational programmes (2007 – 2013): A first assessment” from May 2007,
– having regard to the Commission Communication of 13 July 2006 entitled "Cohesion Policy and cities: the urban contribution to growth and jobs in the regions" (COM(2006)0385),
– having regard to the Council Decision 2006/702/EC of 6 October 2006 on Community Strategic Guidelines on Cohesion,
– having regard to the Commission Communication of 5 July 2005 entitled "Cohesion Policy in Support of Growth and Jobs: Community Strategic Guidelines, 2007-2013” (COM(2005)0299),
– having regard to the Commission Communication of 14 June 2002 entitled "The programming of the Structural Funds 2000-2006: an initial assessment of the Urban Initiative" (COM(2002)0308),
– having regard to the Commission Communication of 6 May 1997 entitled “Towards an urban agenda in the European Union” (COM(1997)0197),
– having regard to the results of the European Spatial Planning Observatory Network (ESPON) 2006 Programme and the adopted ESPON 2013 Programme,
– having regard to the results of the Urban Pilot Projects (1989-1999), Community initiative URBAN I (1994-1999) and URBAN II (2000-2006),
– having regard to the information from the database of the Urban Audit that provides statistics with 330 indicators on 358 European cities,
– having regard to its resolution of 21 February 2008 on the follow-up of the Territorial Agenda and the Leipzig Charter : Towards a European Action Programme for Spatial Development and Territorial Cohesion,
– having regard to its resolution of 10 May 2007 on housing and regional policy,
– having regard to its resolution of 13 October 2005 on the urban dimension in the context of enlargement,
– having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,
– having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Development (A6‑0031/2009),
A. whereas it is recognised that whilst urban issues fall under the responsibility of national, regional, and local authorities, urban areas nevertheless play a key role in the effective implementation of the Lisbon and Gothenburg Strategies and are therefore viewed as a high priority in cohesion policy, for which the EU institutions have a responsibility,
B. whereas the EU's objectives as set out in the Leipzig Charter are to ensure an integrated approach to urban development policy implementation in order to create high quality urban spaces, to modernise transport, energy, public utilities and information networks, and to encourage life-long learning, education and innovation particularly in deprived inner cities and areas,
C. whereas both the drawing up of a flexible, adaptable and dynamic 'check list' for the implementation of the Leipzig Charter, as a basic condition for accounting for the variety of needs of diverse European cities and towns, as already launched under the French Presidency, and the further drawing up of integrated urban development plans by each Member State may constitute a useful additional basis for shedding light on the various situations and consequently undertaking clearly targeted initiatives,
D. whereas a distinction needs to be made between cities and urban areas,
E. whereas although 80 % of the 492 million EU inhabitants live in cities, the European Union being characterised by its polycentric development, there are however some significant differences between Member States regarding the population distribution in urban, suburban and rural areas and also problems related to the rather scarce representation of the urban population's interests and needs in the Structural Funds' operational programmes,
F. whereas urban areas are responsible for generating 70 to 80 % of the EU's GDP and cities are recognised as centres of innovation and motors of regional, national and EU development,
G. whereas, however, cities are also responsible for over 75% of world energy consumption and produce 80% of greenhouse gases as a result of energy production, traffic, industry and heating,
H. whereas the trend towards urbanisation is compounded by internal migration towards capital cities and other metropolises, and whereas the resulting population growth causes an immense burden on the growing cities, which have to deal with increased needs in terms of waste management, the provision of housing, education and employment opportunities and whereas this growing tendency towards urbanisation poses an enormous challenge to rural areas, which have to deal with the loss of human capital, the labour force, consumers and students,
I. whereas the recent unprecedented enlargement of the EU has resulted in an exceptional increase in regional disparities and the addition of a large number of cities suffering from urban decay,
J. whereas despite the fact that there are diverse political, institutional and constitutional arrangements in the Member States, EU urban areas are facing common challenges and also have common opportunities to address them, which underlines the need for detailed statistical data on the one hand and on the other hand for mutual cooperation and exchange of good practices, in order for European cities to be able to face worldwide competition,
K. whereas EU spatial development faces the challenges of economic restructuring, strong fluctuations in the labour market, inaccessible and congested public transport, limited useable territory exacerbated by urban sprawl, a declining and ageing population, the depopulation of rural areas and small towns and cities in favour of large urban centres, social exclusion, high and rising crime rates, "ghettoisation" of certain city districts, low household income, the worsening of the quality of life in deprived areas, insufficient numbers of parks and recreation areas, environmental pollution, water, waste and residue management control and the need for secure energy supplies and efficient energy use,
L. whereas coordinated governance using new electronic technologies and in particular e-governance with all relevant stakeholders could significantly reduce existing problems and might lead to urban expansion being addressed in an integrated manner in cooperation with and taking account of suburban areas bordering rural regions and in line with modern approaches to urban planning, such as smart growth, new spatial planning and intelligent urbanism,
M. whereas urban development activities are particularly favourable as regards the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in the services sector, and cohesion policy has become increasingly oriented towards promoting the competitive advantage of cities,
N. whereas SMEs, and in particular small and micro enterprises, craftsmen and traders, are vital to maintaining activity in urban centres and maintaining a balance in city districts, and whereas urban policies on transport, business activities, property transaction and the increasing cost of housing, or conversely a lack of balanced policy-making in these areas, have often led to both the disappearance of economic activities and personal service occupations becoming increasingly rare,
O. whereas the partnership between urban and rural areas still needs to be strengthened, since urban areas have an important role to play in the harmonious and integrated development of their peripheries, in order to achieve territorial cohesion and balanced regional development,
1. Stresses the importance of sustainable urban development and the contribution of urban areas to regional development and calls on the Commission regularly to evaluate, measure, benchmark and discuss the impact of EU policies on the economic, and social situation, particularly issues relating to education and culture, and the health, transport, environmental and security situation in urban areas;
2. Regrets that Member States are encouraged but not obliged to promote sustainable urban development as a strategic priority; consequently, expresses concern that the urban dimension is inadequately taken into account by some Member States in the implementation of cohesion policy and calls on the Commission and Member States in cooperation with regional and local authorities to analyse and evaluate the impact of mainstreaming the URBAN Initiative and regularly to monitor and examine the effects of the implementation of EU funds in urban areas;
3. Highlights the positive experience of the URBAN Community initiative concerning partnership, the integrated approach and the bottom‑up principle, which contributed significantly to the effectiveness and ‘accuracy of fit’ of the projects supported; calls for these achievements in the urban dimension of structural funding to be taken into account and for similar mechanisms to be introduced into the mainstream funding available for sustainable urban development, thereby enabling a larger number of cities to benefit from these achievements;
4. Expresses the view that it would be inappropriate and even problematic to adopt a common definition of "urban areas" and of the term "urban" in general as it is difficult to bring under the same umbrella the diversity of situations in Member States and regions and hence takes the view that any obligatory definition and designation of urban areas should be left to Member States in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity based on European common indicators;
5. Calls on the Member States to take all necessary measures to support their capital cities and other metropolises in their efforts to deal with the challenges arising from urbanisation and the resulting population increase, in areas of waste management, housing, employment and education; at a more general level, considers that demographic fluctuations generate challenges for both urban and rural areas related to the labour market and additionally to the fields of education and retraining of former workers affected by unemployment, and also related to the depopulation of rural areas;
6. Considers, in this context, and given that it is evident that the various constitutional arrangements of the Member States are not, by their very nature, compatible with a harmonising approach, despite the efficiency of the various levels of governance, that it would be useful for Member States to define, through a process of public consultation, on a case-by-case basis, the urban dimension, as they perceive it, in order to strengthen internal harmonisation and improve interaction with the Commission;
7. Points out that the Member States have the possibility of delegating to the cities the management of European Structural Funds (ESF)geared to the implementation of measures aimed at achieving sustainable urban development; considers that sub-delegation presents a double added value: on the one hand it would be much more efficient for regional and European growth that cities take responsibility from planning to the implementation of action taken, while responding to strictly local challenges and on the other hand, it would represent a major tool for improving the administrative capacity of local management; regrets, however, the fact that the possibility of sub-delegation, possibly by means of global grants to municipal authorities within the operational programmes financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has so far not been fully utilised and is convinced that a clear role for urban areas as intermediary structures should be envisaged and encouraged in the context of the multi-level governance approach in the next programming period, and is of the opinion that the urban dimension and sub‑delegation in regional policy should be mandatory; nonetheless, sub‑delegation must not be allowed to lead to the fragmentation of regional policy, and therefore the method used for sub‑delegation must be carefully defined;
8. Highlights the importance of an integrated approach to urban planning; proposes that any public urban development support should be based on integrated urban development plans; takes the view that such an integrated approach should be, for the next programming period, one of the most important conditions for granting and implementing Structural Funds and also for receiving loans from the European Investment Bank; calls on the Commission to draw up guidelines comprising recommendations and examples of good practice concerning integrated urban development plans and to encourage also the exchange of best practices between national, regional and local authorities;
9. Urges the Member States to prioritise, within their national strategic reference frameworks and operational programmes, funding for projects which implement sustainable urban management plans;
10. Recommends that sustainable urban management plans include at least some of the following elements: a waste management plan, noise maps and action plans, local air pollution and environmental programmes, forecasts for population growth, requests for new areas for development, reclamation of abandoned sites and buildings, regeneration of neighbourhoods in decline and de-industrialised areas, availability and accessibility of public services, urban structure and the proportion of green areas, facilities for people with disabilities, upgrading the cultural, historical and natural heritage, estimating water and energy requirements and efficient use of water and energy, availability of public transport, effective traffic management, integration of vulnerable groups (emigrants, minorities, people with few qualifications, people with disabilities, women, etc.), availability of decent housing at affordable prices, and plans to combat crime;
11. Believes that only if sufficient resources are available for sustainable urban development will it be efficient to draw up integrated urban development plans and consequently recommends that available resources be concentrated on specific actions; proposes a minimum level of structural fund expenditure, which must be determined, per inhabitant of the urban area, per programming period, in such a way that setting aside that amount will not constitute an unrealistic burden for the regions;
12. Identifies an urgent need to reinforce the administrative capacity of both vertical and horizontal urban governance and draws to the attention of the Member States the pressing need to adopt an integrated approach in implementing urban development policy (which deals with questions fundamentally linked to the daily life of citizens, such as transport services, public services, quality of life, employment and local economic activities, security, etc.) by involving in this effort national governments together with regional and local authorities and all other relevant public and private stakeholders, on the basis of the partnership principle;
13. Recognises the difficulty for urban authorities in reconciling the domains of ESF funding whilst pursuing economic and social development and ERDF funding whilst planning physical infrastructure investments; believes that the "one programme, one fund" principle should be reviewed and that local and regional authorities should make better use of the synergies of ERDF and ESF funding and reinforce integrated funding; in the long term, invites the Commission to study the possibility of merging the two funds, if this could ensure the simplification of procedures;
14. Supports the idea of the principle of revolving JESSICA funds and its potential for economic growth in urban areas and also believes that in the next programming period, regional policy needs to take advantage of using, to a greater extent, the financial engineering mechanisms such as revolving funds, offering favourable credits, rather than relying solely on grants, as is the case at present;
15. Notes the urban development potential of the private sector and believes that the use of Public Private Partnerships should be systematically envisaged and encouraged for the establishment of innovative financing schemes and projects in order to tackle the major economic and social problems of urban areas, notably for the construction of infrastructure and for housing; emphasises that this requires a clear, transparent code of conduct, particularly regarding the activities of public authorities, which have to take, according to the subsidiarity principle, the strategic decisions on the choice of service provision methods, drawing up specifications, and also on maintaining a certain degree of control;
16. Highlights the implementation and administrative aspects of the urban dimension and calls for further efforts in order to simplify the implementation rules of the cohesion policy and the overall reduction of excessive bureaucracy as regards the management and control of the funds and individual projects;
17. Notes that apart from cohesion policy, there are other Community policies that also provide financial support to urban areas and thus calls on the Commission to develop and propose greater coordination of the policies involved that would bring together all EU resources allocated to urban areas to secure in practice the implementation of the integrated approach, whilst always taking cohesion policy into account;
18. Believes that the governance structures in place in the Member States are still ill adapted to encouraging horizontal cooperation and strongly urges the Commission to promote the principle of a cross‑sectoral management structure;
19. Calls for existing financial, human and organisational resources to be used more efficiently in order to create and strengthen the networks established by towns and cities in the field of sustainable urban development as they play an important part in territorial cooperation; in that context, stresses the need for infrastructure which helps maintain particular characteristics (e.g. historical), modernisation (e.g. innovation poles), economic growth (e.g. SMEs) and seasonal activities and calls on the Commission to strengthen the position of urban areas in the Regions for Economic Change Initiative;
20. Notes that appropriate implementation of regional development policy and a sustainable territorial development strategy require a balance between policies that concern urban, suburban and rural areas and consequently affect the development of real regional cohesion and reiterates the fact that rural development policy has a significant spatial impact and that there is insufficient integration of urban and rural development policies; underlines the need for real synergy between these policies culminating in real development potential and the promotion of attractiveness and competitiveness areas; calls on the Member States and regions to use the urban-rural partnership instrument in order to achieve the goal of balanced spatial development;
21. Calls on the Commission to further develop and regularly update the Urban Audit and at the same time provide information on the situation on the 'urban - rural divide' for all Member States in order to have a clear picture of the situation and to identify the specific needs for balanced urban and rural development;
22. Recommends that the Commission and Member States establish an EU High Level Group on Urban Development and apply the open method of coordination to urban development policy at EU level;
23. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission.
-  OJ L 291, 21.10.2006, p. 11.
-  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0069.
-  OJ C 76 E, 27.3.2008, p 124.
-  OJ C 233 E, 28.9.2006, p. 127.
European Cities and their Situation
Cities are crucial actors in the shaping of Europe’s economy and territory. Questions concerning urban development are at the heart of both the new territorial cohesion objective and the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategy. Cities are the indisputable engines of economic growth across Europe. In virtually all European countries, urban areas are the foremost producers of knowledge and innovation – the hubs of a globalising world economy. Cities and urban areas are home to an overwhelming majority of jobs, businesses and higher education institutions in the Union. On the other hand, many cities are confronted with severe problems and challenges. Hence it is widely considered that cities/ urban areas need special attention in the context of cohesion policy, because on the one hand they represent cores of development, but on the other hand they face a lot of problems of economic, environmental and social nature.
In Europe there are about 5.000 towns with populations between 5.000 and 50.000 inhabitants and almost 1.000 cities counting populations above 50.000. Europe can be characterized by territorial diversity and polycentric development, the relatively dense urban network contains few very large cities. In the European Union, only 7% of people live in cities of over 5 million as against 25% in the United States of America. According to the State of European Cities Report the strongest urban population growth rates were recorded in Spain, where some urban areas saw average annual increases of 2 percent or more. Cities in Ireland, Finland, and Greece also experienced some of the highest population growth rates in the EU. In contrast, many urban areas in Central and Eastern Europe witnessed an overall population decline in the same time frame. In virtually all cities, suburbs grow and if they decline they still tend to decline less than the core city.
Because of significant national differences, there is no international agreement on a common definition of urban that would be applicable to all countries or even to all countries within a region. Many attempts have been made to establish a common understanding of ‘urban’, there are definitions by the UN, the World Bank, the OECD, and then again by individual countries. Most if not all of these definitions are based on statistical information concerning population size and density. Whilst large differences undoubtedly exist in the geographical distribution of the population of one country or another the European Institutions have until now relied on the approach adopted by Eurostat in its European regional and Urban statistics Reference guide which identifies four levels of spatial unit for which observations are collected. These vary from the central or "core" city, through the larger urban zones (LUZ), the "Kernel" for nine capital cities where the concept of the administrative city did not yield comparative spatial units and finally subcity districts (SCD). Although Eurostat definition is fully applicable for statistical purposes, keeping in mind the existing differences and various approaches it seems to be very difficult to establish a common, clear definition of ‘urban’ in the framework of cohesion policy and hence the definition issue should be left to Member states in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity.
The drawing up of an economic, social and territorial development strategy requires the notion of urban in cohesion policy to be limited to those areas where there is a detailed data set available as it is only with clear and concise data the problems can be measured. In order to measure the progress and identify the problems of urban areas it is then necessary to have detailed statistical data available. This has given rise to the very useful European Urban Audit.
Urban Dimension in Cohesion Policy
Historically the urban dimension was standing alongside the main volume of structural operations. Since the 1990 there have been Urban Pilot Projects. Since 1994, there was the URBAN Community initiative programme that allowed the promotion of integrated local development models.
Whereas during the previous programming period the various Urban initiatives were allocated specific funding, this is not the case during the 2007-2013 period. Following the adoption of the new regulations governing the structural funds, urban development policy has been integrated (mainstreamed) into the cohesion and regional competitiveness and employment objectives thus underlining the importance the Union attaches to this aspect of cohesion policy. Whilst drawing up the NSRFs and OPs, Member States were encouraged but not obliged, to integrate sustainable urban development as a strategic priority. However, given the importance of cities and urban agglomerations in the European economic fabric, not to do so would largely defeat any plans they may have had to be a dynamic player in the Union's efforts to achieve its goals.
The current revised regulations permit managing authorities to have recourse to a wide range of public/private partnerships in the management of funds earmarked for urban development. Thus the structural funds may finance an operation of financial engineering such as venture capital funds, guarantee funds or loan funds. The European Commission and the EIB have developed three financial instruments namely, JEREMIE, JASPERS AND JESSICA. JESSICA (The Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas ) represents the greatest interest for urban development. It is aimed at achieving a leverage effect with the financial resources available. The recovered funds must be reinvested in urban development or reallocated to the managing authority for other urban projects. In fact Jessica is at present still in the early stages.
So far, there has been no complex evaluation of the scope of implementation of urban dimension in the Member states. However first observations are not very positive. For example national authorities and regions mostly did not decide to give cities the possibility sub-delegation as they prefer to call for proposals in the different sector policies.
Much is being done at an intergovernmental and international organization level with regards to urban development. However there are some areas which could do with closer monitoring, finer indicators, and the development of similar methodologies for the implementation of integrated sustainable urban development. Furthermore, should Lisbon enter into force in the future; territorial cohesion and its constituent, urban development will be the joint responsibility of Member States and the Union.
Urban development programmes must be conceived and executed at the local and regional level by those who understand local people and the business environment. In this context sub-delegation is a very important tool, both to enhance local management administrative capacity and to become a real actor of the territorial and European growth.
Whether regional or sub-regional organizations actually acquire greater responsibilities for Structural Funds programming and delivery depends not only on the creation of a positive framework at EU level, in terms of the Regulations and Guidelines, but also on the extent to which national and regional governments and managing authorities are prepared to accept and provide for their increased hands-on involvement.
In this context it is questionable to what extent the voluntary framework works. In the future, the clear role of cities alongside regional and national governments as intermediary bodies should be envisaged, in the context of the multi-level governance approach and the urban dimension should be mandatory.
It often arises that unrelated development plans are prepared before the integrated urban development plans have been finalised by cities. For the integrated urban development plans to be viable it is crucial that a representative management and decision making structure is in place. Furthermore the idea of integrated urban development plan constitutes the way forward only if sufficient resources are available. It is then your rapporteur's view that the earmarking of budgetary allocations such as existed under the Urban initiatives would be conducive to ensuring that the urban dimension receives adequate resources and he therefore calls for minimum funds to be made mandatory. These he suggests should be set at EUR 1.000 (at the Community initiative Urban II the minimum level of expenditure was set at EUR 500 per inhabitant).
To be effective and to achieve the Leipzig objectives within a reasonable time throughout the Community, urban development requires clearly identified important financial resources. The private sector also has an important part to play in ensuring the rapid convergence of the urban areas in the poorest countries. Public private partnerships concentrating their efforts on infrastructure construction and housing. The use of effective financial tools and credit facilities are all indispensable if the grants, and loans are to achieve the desired leverage to ensure rapid and effective development. Financial engineering instruments such as Jessica have a significant development potential. The revolving principle of JESSICA and its potential for economic growth needs to be stressed. Jessica should be a primary tool for the financing of sustainable urban development projects.
It would appear that whilst much lip service is paid to the idea of an integrated cross sector implementation policy the governance structures in place in Member States are sometimes ill adapted to encouraging horizontal cooperation. Apart from the regional policy, there are other Community financial policies that influence cities and also offer financial resources that can be used on city territories. Amongst them, the European Transport Policy and the European Research and Development Policy seem to be the most important. Consequently the result is a lack of methodology adapted to needs. The absence of a cross sector management structure with the authority to ensure the necessary coordination and take then necessary decisions can be a major problem. In the future these policies should be more closely interlinked with Cohesion policy.
Urban problems and the means to manage them to the advantage of all concerned varies from country to country and from town to town. The strength of Europe lies in its cultural variety, in the richness of its cities, towns, villages and countryside and its cultural landscapes. Cities and regions are in competition with each other, but at the same time they need mutual cooperation, in order to be able to compete world-wide. The exchange of experiences and best practice about the development and reconstruction of European cities is of outstanding importance. The experience of the most successful as well as the pitfalls encountered by the older Member States need to be shared by those who have recently joined. Institutions such as CEMR, Eurocities, EUKN, QeC ERAN and many others play an indispensable role in this regard.
Lastly, but in no way least, it is important to approach urban problems in the wider context of the urban – rural divide and ensure harmonious development of inner, wider and suburban areas.
-  Commission of the European Communities, Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion: Turning territorial diversity into strength, Brussels, 2008.
-  State of European Cities Report: Adding Value to the European Urban Audit, 2007 available at http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docgener/studies/pdf/urban/stateofcities_2007.pdf
-  http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sconcerns/densurb/Defintion_of%20Urban.pdf
-  http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/table3_10.pdf
-  http://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=6492
-  http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-RA-07-005/EN/KS-RA-07-005-EN.PDF
-  Facilitates access to finance for business startups, the development of micro enterprises and SMEs
-  Supports the preparation of major projects
-  Supports financial engineering in the Urban development field.
RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE
Result of final vote
Members present for the final vote
Stavros Arnaoutakis, Elspeth Attwooll, Jean Marie Beaupuy, Rolf Berend, Jana Bobošíková, Victor Boştinaru, Wolfgang Bulfon, Giorgio Carollo, Antonio De Blasio, Gerardo Galeote, Iratxe García Pérez, Eugenijus Gentvilas, Monica Giuntini, Ambroise Guellec, Jim Higgins, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Mieczysław Edmund Janowski, Rumiana Jeleva, Gisela Kallenbach, Tunne Kelam, Evgeni Kirilov, Miloš Koterec, Constanze Angela Krehl, Florencio Luque Aguilar, Jamila Madeira, Sérgio Marques, Yiannakis Matsis, Miroslav Mikolášik, James Nicholson, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Jan Olbrycht, Maria Petre, Markus Pieper, Pierre Pribetich, Giovanni Robusti, Wojciech Roszkowski, Grażyna Staniszewska, Catherine Stihler, Andrzej Jan Szejna, Oldřich Vlasák, Vladimír Železný
Substitute(s) present for the final vote
Domenico Antonio Basile, Brigitte Douay, Madeleine Jouye de Grandmaison, Zita Pleštinská, Samuli Pohjamo, Richard Seeber