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Croatia in the EU: first major projects financed from the Cohesion Fund

The European Commission has approved a contribution of nearly €103 million for the first two major projects to be implemented under the EU’s Cohesion Fund for Croatia. The investments will benefit 150 000 residents in the regions of Osijek and Porec as well as 75 000 expected tourists per year. The projects will contribute to the protection of Croatia's water resources through improved water supply and integrated wastewater management system and 300 jobs are likely to be created as the projects are implemented.

In Osijek, the project will focus on the extension and improvement of the sewage system and the construction of a waste water treatment plant. This will help to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the Drava river and groundwater. In addition, the project will provide a safe and reliable drinking water supply through improvements to the supply network and the extension of the water treatment facility.

Through the construction of four waste water treatment plants, the project in Porec will reduce the direct discharge of untreated waste water into sensitive coastal sea water. It will also vastly improve the performance of the waste water treatment facility by reducing leaks in the sewer network. By extending these, be considerably increased. The EU investments are financed through the Cohesion Fund as part of Operational Programme "Environment" within the priority axis “Protecting Croatia's water resources
through improved water supply and integrated wastewater management systems”. The European Union will contribute €102.7 million, with €53 million for Osijek and €49.7 million for Porec. With national funds include, the total investment comes to €139.7 million with €72.5 million and €67.2 million for Osijek and Porec respectively. Both projects are expected to be finished in 2016.

Read the full press release

Source: European Commission

Spain 2014-014-2020: Study on research and innovation support to enterprises

The main objective of the study is to provide background information for the preparation of the 2014-2020 interventions in the field of research and innovation in Spain. The study makes the following recommendations:

  1. Segmentation according to the different profiles of companies in the national and regional innovation plans;
  2. New indicators for innovation are required;
  3. Smart Specialisation: analyses of competitive technologies at Spanish level must carried out before designing new strategies;
  4. Interventions should include the role of the Spanish General Administration and its responsibility in the coordination of innovation systems;
  5. Administrative burden should be reduced;
  6. Interventions addressing training activities on how to evaluate and give value to innovation instruments should be addressed;
  7. A single ranking on technological centres in Spain should be published;
  8. Take into consideration real private sector requirements (including short term and regional requirements);
  9. Public Call for Proposals should avoid direct competition between technological enterprises and technological centres.

Read the executive summary (EN) and the full study (ES)

Source: European Commission

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Partnership in action: EU Outermost Regions present investment and growth plans for 2014-20 to European Commission

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn will today receive the strategic growth plans for Europe’s eight Outermost Regions (OR). The Commissioner, who is responsible for coordinating all EU policies for these regions will be discussing the Action Plans in Brussels with Presidents and Vice-Presidents from The Azores, the Canary Islands, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Madeira, Martinique, La Réunion and St Martin.

Commissioner Hahn visits Greece and Romania

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn will be in Greece from 12 to 13 June 2013. The main objective of this visit is to take stock of the progress regarding structural funds implementation as well as discussions on the forthcoming funding period. The Commissioner will start his programme with a visit to the region Eastern Macedonia-Thrace and then will continue in Athens where he will meet Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Minister for Regional Development Kostis Hatzidakis.

Commission proposes legal framework for the extension of the n+2 rule to n+3 for Romania and Slovakia

The European Commission adopted a proposal to modify the General Regulation in order to extend the 10% top-up until the end of 2007-13 and to give Romania and Slovakia more time to spend their allocations.

The proposal, COM(2013)301, will now be discussed with the European Parliament and the Council. Read the full proposal

Source: European Commission

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