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Parliamentary questions
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13 January 2021
E-000170/2021
Question for written answer  E-000170/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Susana Solís Pérez (Renew)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Depopulation and regional State aid scheme

In the ERDF Regulation for 2021-2027, a new definition of depopulated areas has just been agreed, one which steers investments towards municipalities and provinces (NUTS 3 and LAU) which lost 1% of their population annually between 2007-2017, or which have fewer than 12 inhabitants/km2.

This is an important step for southern European regions, as it addresses the needs of depopulated areas in places other than Lapland. In addition, the actions to be set out in the operational programmes must be accompanied by cross-cutting measures, such as operating aid for SMEs and tax benefits, in line with the Guidelines on regional State aid for 2014-2020 (2013/C 209/01). However, the current guidelines do not include this new definition.

With this in mind:

1. Given the temporary one-year extension of the current State aid guidelines, will the Commission follow the criterion set out in the ERDF Regulation in the guidelines on regional State aid for 2021-2027 when determining what is to be considered a depopulated area?

2. What other measures are envisaged to address the significant demographic challenges faced by areas such as Cuenca, Soria and Teruel in Spain?

Original language of question: ES
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