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Local Development

The programmes listed under the "local development" activity are linked with the policy for territorial cohesion and cooperation between regional bodies.

The aim of these policies is to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion by reducing disparities between the levels of development of regions and countries of the European Union.

Reducing disparities requires a cohesion policy promoting constant improvements in competitiveness and employment. By cofinancing infrastructure projects, developing the information society, accelerating the transfer of know-how, supporting investments in people and stimulating cross-border cooperation, the Directorate General for Regional Policy helps regions that are less prosperous or are suffering from structural problems to improve competitiveness and to achieve a faster rate of economic development in a sustainable way.

The Community strategic guidelines are an important part of the cohesion policy. On the basis of the strategic guidelines, the Member States draw up their cohesion policy priorities.

Although the Structural Funds are part of the Community budget, the way they are spent is based on a system of shared responsibility between the European Commission and Member State authorities:

-    the Commission negotiates and approves the development programmes proposed by the Member States, and allocates resources,
-    the Member States and their regions manage the programmes, implement them by selecting projects, control and assess them,
-    the Commission is involved in programme monitoring, commits and pays out approved expenditure and verifies the control systems.
The Community strategic guidelines contribute also to the realisation of other Community priorities, such as those deriving from the EU 2020 strategy. They are mainly concerned with investment, jobs, knowledge and innovation, territorial cohesion and cooperation.

The following list gives you all the European funds available in the field of local development:


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