New Panorama magazine out now: "Regional policy, an integrated approach – A 360° view"

What exactly do policy experts mean when stressing the importance of an "integrated approach" to regional policy-making? The new issue of Panorama sets out to investigate this latest buzzword, offering ample examples of what integrated regional policy can look like in practice. Be it urban development, support for the outermost regions, or projects in the structurally weaker areas of Bavaria – coordinating policies with a view to ensuring overall regional development has proven to be an effective regional policy tool.

Please find the new version of Panorama attached. 



Panorama_-_No._34.pdf11.36 MB

Urban regeneration: a top priority for cohesion policy

Addressing the meeting of EU ministers for housing and urban development in the Spanish city of Toledo on 21 and 22 June, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn has underlined the importance of sustainable and integrated urban development for the future cohesion policy. He also stressed the key role to be played by cities to deliver the Europe 2020 vision of green, smart and socially inclusive growth. The Toledo Declaration, signed by Ministers at the meeting, spells out Europe's commitment to integrated urban regeneration.

You can download the speech of EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn on this site.



Informal_ministerial_meeting_Toledo_22_June_2010.pdf32.05 KB

New Control and Audit Guidelines

As from 15 December 2009 on, a revised version of the Control and Audit Guidelines as well as new First Level Control (FLC) templates are compulsary to be used for Lead partners, project partners and FLC bodies within the Central Europe Programme.

Please find the new Control and Audit guidelines, as well as an information and explanation on the changes according to the new Guidelines attached. The  new FLC templates can be found under the following link:



NEW_Control_and_Audit_Guidlines.pdf708.13 KB
Guide_on_changes_of_the_Control_and_Audit_Guidlines.pdf448.89 KB

Central Europe Programme: 37 new projects

Central Europe Programme: 37 new projects improve cooperation among regions for the benefits of citizens

On 12 and 13 November 2009 the Monitoring Committee of the transnational Programme Central Europe decided in Budapest on new projects to be co-funded within the Second call for project proposals. Out of 137 eligible project applications, the Committee recommended 37 projects for funding in the fields of innovation, accessibility, environment and competitiveness of cities and regions. A total sum of roughly 72,5 million Euros out of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will be allocated to these projects.

The funded projects, which have to include partners from at least three out of eight EU Member States participating in the Central Europe Programme, involve 53 regions in the Central Europe area. 58 project partners are coming from Austria, 38 from the Czech Republic, 67 from Germany, 65 from Italy, 47 from Hungary, 60 from Poland, 26 projects from Slovakia and further 32 projects from Slovenia.

Broad variety of topics

The approved projects tackle a wide range of different topics which are of clear relevance for the citizens of the area. Projects funded under priority innovation deal among others with the issues of transnational clusters and the collaboration between health care sector players and small and medium sized enterprises. Accessibility projects elaborate better strategies for road safety and environmental innovation for public transport systems. Projects dealing with environment include projects on energy efficiency in urban areas and flood risk management. The competitiveness of regions and cities will be developed through the searching new models for challenging negative impacts of demographic change and revitalization of brownfield areas.

Different to the first call, the Programme offered the possibility to private partners to be Lead Partner in projects in the field of innovation for the first time. 10 private companies applied as Lead Applicants in eligible projects. All together 65 private partners will participate in the different projects.

The first overview on the approved projects can be found here:



New solutions in sight for project funding

The EU institutions are still holding talks aimed at working out a solution to the latest proposal for simplification of the Structural Funds, presented by the European Commission in July 2009. The main idea of the text was to abolish, in 2009 and 2010, the states’ co-funding obligation for projects receiving aid under the European Social Fund. The Council of Ministers rejects this possibility, however, so alternative solutions have to be found.

The fundamental aim of the idea of temporarily doing away with the co-funding obligation was to ease pressure on national budgets, which are already stretched to the breaking point because of the crisis. The idea is to keep from delaying the launch of projects that can be particularly useful during this difficult period. Although the means proposed failed to convince the Council, the objective remains valid: a way has to be found to cope with liquidity problems in the states, without which projects will be delayed. To try to break the deadlock and at the request of the Swedish EU Presidency, the Commission made two alternative proposals on which the institutions are now trying to work out a compromise.

The Commission proposes to pay additional advances to the states totalling an estimated €3.2 billion. The advances are a sort of prefinancing that allow early launch of the programmes. They are calculated as a percentage of the Structural Fund allocation, based on rules laid down in EU regulations. For 2009, for example, they should have totalled €5 billion but, because of the crisis, the institutions agreed a few months ago to put up additional advances of €6.25 billion (total of €11.25 bn). The Commission is now prepared to put up another €3.2 bn, which corresponds to 4% of the European Social Fund budget (€1.8 bn) plus 2% of the Cohesion Fund budget (€1.4 bn) for the states benefiting from this fund (EU12 plus Greece, Portugal and Spain). The idea has already been discussed in a Council working group and although the reaction was positive on the whole, the states tend to find the amounts in question too high. Some have proposed to limit the new advances to 2% of the ESF budget and 1% of the Cohesion Fund budget – thus halving the amounts proposed by the Commission – while others wish to limit the scope of the measures to the states whose economies have suffered most from the crisis (negative GDP growth of more than 10%, which would be the case for Romania, Hungary, Lithuania and Latvia).

The Commission’s other proposal is to make decommitment rules more flexible. The rules known as ‘N+2’ (for the EU15 less Portugal and Greece) and ‘N+3’ (for the EU12 + Portugal and Greece) provide that EU funds granted to a programme are lost if not used within two (or three) years following the year of approval. The Commission proposes to ‘merge’ the years 2007 and 2008 with respect to the states’ deadlines for the submission of payment requests. For the countries subject to the N+2 rule, that means that decommitment for 2007 will not occur before the end of 2010 (instead of 2009). For the N+3 countries, it will be end of 2011. In short, N+2 and N+3 would become N+3 and N+4 for the Commission’s aid approved in 2007. Here, too, the states seem to be reacting positively to the idea of more flexible decommitment rules although adaptation of the method proposed is not out of the question.

The European Parliament’s Regional Development Committee will review the progress of the talks at its meeting, on 4 November in Brussels.

The Commission proposes to pay additional advances to the states totalling an estimated €3.2 billion.