EU structural funds
The Bavarian programme for the “Regional Competitiveness and Employment” objective financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the programming period 2007 – 2013 addresses two strategic targets: raising the overall competitiveness as a foundation for sustainable future growth (Lisbon-strategy), and specific measures to promote growth and employment in structurally weaker regions.
Accordingly the priorities are:
- Innovation and the knowledge-based economy
- Promotion of competitiveness and employment of SMEs
- Sustainable urban development
- Risk precaution and the protection of natural resources
- Sustainable economic development of the border regions
Out of these, the last incorporates special EU-grants (84 million €) dedicated to the regions neighbouring the Czech Republic. Furthermore, by decision of the Bavarian Cabinet, at least half of all regular funds (491 million €) will be spent in the border area, i.e. Upper Franconia, Upper Palatinate, and Lower Bavaria. The programme combines well-established measures, such as grants for investment in SME, with new tools such as venture capital funds and integrated urban development.
Implementation of the Bavarian programme has been smooth so far, with numerous projects well under way or already close to completion. The targets and benchmarks agreed upon are ambitious but reasonable.
The strategy launched remains sound: promoting innovation throughout the country while offering tailored aid to regions according to their specific needs, will allow the Bavarian ERDF programme to make a significant contribution in tackling today’s and tomorrows’ challenges.