Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Cohesion policy

Structural funds - 24.07.2006

The European Commission's priorities for the 2007-2013 structural funds
The European Commission has presented, on 13 July 2006, its strategic guidelines for the next period of the structural funds (2007-2013).
The Community Strategic Guidelines contain the principles and priorities of cohesion policy and suggest ways the European regions can take full advantage of the € 308 billion that has been made available for national and regional aid programmes over the next seven years.
National authorities will use the guidelines as the basis for drafting their national strategic priorities and planning for 2007-2013.
The Commission puts forward three priorities:
  • Improving the attractiveness of Member States, regions and cities by improving accessibility, ensuring adequate quality and level of services, and preserving their environmental potential;
  • Encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and the growth of the knowledge economy by research and innovation capacities, including new information and communication technologies; and
  • Creating more and better jobs by attracting more people into employment entrepreneurial activity, improving adaptability of workers and enterprises and increasing investment in human capital.
The European Commission has also presented its communication on the towns and regions' contribution to growth and jobs. The Commission proposes tools for an integrated urban policy. In it, it says that there is no single path to sustainable urban development.
In April 2006, the Committee of the Regions adopted the opinion of CEMR president Michael Häupl, on the towns and regions' contribution to growth and jobs. In the opinion, Michael Häupl highlights the need for a bottom-up approach and the importance of incorporating an urban dimension across all Community policies.
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