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European Territorial Cooperation

The European Union's regional policy seeks to reduce structural disparities between EU regions, foster balanced development throughout the EU and promote real equal opportunities for all. Based on the concepts of solidarity and economic and social cohesion, it achieves this in practical terms by means of a variety of financing operations, principally through the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. For the period 2007-2013, the European Union's regional policy is the EU's second largest budget item, with an allocation of €348 billion.

The three main objectives of the Policy are:

Convergence

Regional Competitiveness and Employment

European Territorial Cooperation

Cohesion policy encourages regions and cities from different EU Member States to work together and learn from each other through joint programmes, projects and networks. This objective, financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), promotes cross-border, interregional and transnational (namely Atlantic area) cooperation programmes that cover the following themes: 

  • Innovation: especially networks of universities, research institutions, SMEs;
  • Environment: especially water resources, rivers, lakes, sea;
  • Accessibility: including telecommunications, and in particular the completion of networks;
  • Sustainable urban development: especially polycentric development.

 

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