A Sting Exclusive: “Regional Policy: a fully-fledged investment policy”, Commissioner Cretu reveals live from European Business Summit 2015

Written by Commissioner Corina Cretu, responsible for Regional Policy

Commissioner Corina Cretu, responsible for Regional Policy (European Commission)

Commissioner Corina Cretu, responsible for Regional Policy (European Commission)

As Commissioner for Regional Policy, I have the important task of ensuring the greatest impact of our policy on the ground in terms of growth and jobs, in line with the objectives of both the Europe 2020 Strategy and the €315 billion Investment Plan.

Regional Policy has been reformed for the new budgetary period 2014-2020, to better take up the challenges of the real economy and the need for strategic investments. The programmes we have prepared and adopted with the EU Member States are performance-guided, have clearly-defined objectives, and focus on four key growth areas: the digital agenda, research and innovation, support to SMEs and entrepreneurship and the low-carbon economy. More than 100 billion euro, nearly half the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will be allocated to these four priorities throughout 2014-2020.

The 2015 European Business Summit focuses on the impact of digitalisation on industry and society; in the Commission, we are aware of the fantastic potential of the digital sector. We are convinced that the transformative role of digital technologies can be used to create growth and jobs. Digital technologies can transform our economies and our way of life as profoundly as the steam engine did in the 18th century or electricity did in the 19th. Today, 6 May, the Commission is unveiling its strategy for a Digital Single Market. This strategy clearly represents an unprecedented opportunity for innovation, growth and job creation across Europe. For 2014-2020, €20 billion from EU Cohesion Policy funds will be invested in digital and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Managing Authorities will be able to select and implement the projects that correspond best to people’s needs, helping the future Digital Single Market see the light of day. It means, for example, investing in broadband, online public services and better access to ICT for small businesses.

To boost the effect of our investments in these fields, our reformed Regional Policy is equipped with the right tools. Take, for example, Smart Specialisation Strategies. Before ERDF investments are allocated to research and innovation, Member States and regions have to draw up such Strategies, to identify niche areas of competitive strength, and opportunities for public-private partnerships. By focusing on what gives a region its greatest competitive potential, smart specialisation helps position the region in specific global markets and international value chains.

To further multiply the impact of each euro invested, we also strongly encourage the increased use of financial instruments, to give SMEs more support and access to credit. If their usage doubled compared to 2007-2013, such financial instruments would generate up to €40 billion of additional investment in the coming years. To help Managing Authorities make the most of this major opportunity, on 19 January we launched fi-compass, an advisory service on financial instruments for the European Structural and Investment Funds, in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB). This service is part of the “one-stop shop” advisory hub, to be launched as an important part of the EU Investment Plan.

Furthermore, in the first 6 months of my mandate, I worked hard to solve the issues that prevent some Member States from fully exploiting the potential of Regional Policy in terms of strategic investments. Low absorption rates, weak administrative capacities, and cumbersome procedures are some of the problems we are currently addressing in a country-specific and short-term manner to make sure that EU funds are spent in a strategic and efficient way, with the regions’ economic wealth and the wellbeing of the citizens at heart.

40 years after the creation of the ERDF, Regional Policy has become the EU’s main investment policy; a smart, strategic investment policy and a pillar of the Investment Plan. My job is now to make sure that this policy has the expected and much-needed results in terms of growth and jobs: and that is exactly what I will do.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Brexit: when the hubris of one man can set the UK, the EU and the entire world on fire

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

Why Eurozone can afford spending for growth

Irish Presidency: Not a euro more for EU budgets

Bundesbank’s President Weidmann criticises France and the EU. Credibility at risk?

COP21 Breaking News_07 December: “The world is expecting more from you than half-measures”, UN Secretary General Bank Ki-moon cries out from Paris

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

Tackling youth unemployment through the eyes of a European entrepreneur

Eurozone plans return to growth

Can the next financial crisis be avoided?

Cédric in India

Draghi keeps the euro cheap, helps debt refinancing, recapitalization of banks and growth

EU: 13 major banks may pay fines 10% of worldwide turnover

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

Sanctions on Russia to be the biggest unity test at this European Council

EU to gain the most from the agreement with Iran

The EU Commission is lying to the “Right2Water” campaign

Campaign kicks off with High-level Event on #FairInternships

Cloud computing under scrutiny in the EU?

Ukraine: turning challenges into opportunities


Look Mom, even the House of Lords says the #righttobeforgotten is not right

A very good morning in European markets

Eurozone closer to a deflation – stagnation trap

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commissioner Mimica looks at how the private sector can better deliver for international development

Recession: the best argument for growth

Me and China

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

Migration crisis update: lack of solidarity not only among EU leaders but also EU officials

France pushes UK to stay and Germany to pay

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

The creative technology and its advancements

The Eurogroup offered a cold reception to IMF’s director for Europe

Apparently the EU Digital Single Market passes necessarily from China’s Digital Silk Road

Do you dare to go to China?

Tsipras doesn’t seem to have learned his “almost Grexit” lesson and Greece faces again financial and political dead end

EU to spend €135.5 billion in 2014 or 6.5% less than this year

Will the end of QE come along with ECB’s inflation target?

“Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” Finally a name and a number to answer Henry Kissinger’s question

Berlin repels proposal for cheaper euro

EU citizens disenchanted with Economic and Monetary Union over rising poverty and high unemployment

Dutch voters reject EU-Ukraine partnership and open a new pandora’s box for the EU

On Youth Education: “Just a normal day in the life of a medical student”

Fighting for minds of youth in Latvia

European banking stress tests 2014: A more adverse approach for a shorter banking sector

Intel @ MWC14: Our Love Story with Mobile – Transforming Wireless Networks

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “There is a communication issue (about China) which markets don’t like” Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF stresses from Davos

Back to the basics for the EU: Investment equals Growth

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

The completion of the European Banking Union attracts billions of new capital for Eurozone banks

Regional policies slowed down by EU bureaucracy

Warmongers ready to chew what is left of social protection spending

Commission threatens Chinese firms with trade penalties

Is there a drug for every disease?

EU agrees on Ukraine – Georgia visa-free travel amid veto risks and populist fears

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

Facebook and Google to treat Europe as the 51st State of the USA

JADE Spring Meeting 2015: a step forward for Youth Entrepreneurship

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

Turkey to let EU alone struggle with the migrant crisis while enhancing its economic ties with Russia instead?

Hollande protects the euro from the attacks of extremists

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s