European Commission

DG REGIO and DG EMPL publish Guide to Social Innovation

Press release DG REGIO and DG EMPL have together produced a “Guide to Social Innovation”, which is now available to download. In their joint foreword, Commissioners Hahn and Andor draw attention to the need to address the social consequences of the current economic crisis: “…we need to have a fresh look at social, health and employment policies, but also at education, training and skills development, business support, industrial policy, urban development, etc., to ensure socially and environmentally sustainable growth, jobs and quality of life in Europe.” For the purposes of this guide “social innovation” describes any innovative measure which has explicitly social (as opposed to merely technological or business) goals.

Commission to propose rules to apply the Youth Employment Initiative

Press release: On 12 March, the European Commission is due to propose rules on how EU structural funds due to be allocated to the Youth Employment Initiative can best be used by Member States to fight youth unemployment.

Commissioner Hahn calls on the Mayors of EU Capital Cities to help pull Europe out of crisis

Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn hosted the first direct talks between the European Commission and the EU's capital cities in Brussels on 28 February. Some 20 mayors from capital cities met also with Commissioners Neelie Kroes for Digital Agenda and Janez Potocnik for Environment to discuss how they can drive forward the EU’s growth agenda, Europe 2020 and help Europe exit the crisis. In the light of current discussions for the next EU 7-year budget, reforms to EU Regional Policy and other EU programmes, there is a need to address urban challenges in an integrated, more effective way. The reformed Regional Policy makes the case for this kind of integrated approach. This is why the recently renamed Directorate for Regional and Urban Policy has been given a new role by Commission President Barroso to co-ordinate the urban policy initiatives of the EU.

Statement from Commissioner Hahn on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 after the European Council

Press release

I know these have been difficult talks, so I am relieved that we have an agreement from the European Council on the EU budget for 2014-2020. Subject to the European Parliament's consent, we can continue our preparations for the next programming period for Cohesion Policy without any more delay. This is about getting EU investments to where they can do most good- creating jobs and helping Europe's recovery. It is about giving investors certainty about where private funds can also bolster our efforts. 

European Commission plans to strengthen the administrative capacities of Member States

The 2013 Management Plan of the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) highlights the plans of the European Commission to strengthen the administrative capacities in the Member States with the aim of increasing the absorption rate of Structural and Cohesion Funds and ensuring the quality of spending. For example, the European Commission will continue to support EU countries in re-programming their funds. In regions where weak capacities are a major obstacle 'intervention may need to go beyond the traditional scope of assistance in shared management'. In addition, the newly set-up Competence Centres will provide advice on institutional building.


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