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Regionality in the European Union

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Introduction

Regionality in the European Union The European Union's regional policy is based on financial solidarity inasmuch as part of member States' contributions to the community budget goes to the less prosperous regions and social groups. The proposals from member states should help make the regions more competitive by helping firms to expand their activities, create jobs and become more profitable. To achieve this, businesses and citizens require safe, modern and fast infrastructure offering efficient connections and many forms of transport. The member states and regions have every interest in diversifying their sources of supply, in terms of energy, and in so doing providing practical interconnections between distribution networks. Investments in renewable sources of energy and low-consumption technologies are to be encouraged. The Structural Fund was created to deal with such problems and has three main objectives. Objective one In the regions where development is lagging behind, the aim is to catch up with the other regions of the Union. ...read more.

Middle

However, the specific problems and characteristics of these areas should be taken into account. Towns and cities have the advantage of being centres of communication, trade, innovation and culture alongside the disadvantages of consuming enormous quantities of energy and producing considerable quantities of waste. The role of urban areas in regional growth should be enhanced so as to provide increased employment opportunities. Balanced urban development requires the regeneration of the most run-down areas and greater advances in social integration. Devising clean and cheap transport systems could reinforce living standards and health protection, exploiting renewable sources of energy and by rationalising the use of traditional energy sources. Urban management that is efficient and close to inhabitants helps improve the living environment in cities. Many areas in the countryside are under-populated, lack basic services and offer limited job opportunities. These problems primarily stem from the decline in agriculture that is still the main land use in rural areas. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Community's "e-Europe" initiative seeks to ensure that all the Member States and regions of the Union enjoy the benefits of the information society. The Structural Funds will support this initiative in all areas where access to and utilisation of new technologies is lagging behind. Tourism, culture, the environment and the social economy are promising sectors for regional development and job-creation. A high quality environment improves the attractiveness of a region and increases its chances of economic development. If such is not the case, regions require infrastructure to provide better quality water, waste recovery and recycling and the cleaning up of tips are just some of the activities to be undertaken to secure sustainable regional development. In addition to the three main objectives stated above there are also four Community Initiatives seeking common solutions to specific problems. They spend around 5 percent of the funding for the Structural Funds on: � cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation (Interrag III); � sustainable development of cities and declining urban areas (Urban II); � rural development through local initiatives (Leader + ); � combating inequalities and discrimination in access to the labour market (Equal). ...read more.

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