Promoting growth, job creation and cohesion within the enlarged EU via complex urban development projects and co-operative financing schemes was the theme of a major conference held in Brussels on 24 November.
Organised at the initiative of Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hübner, the participants in the conference were acquainted with a fresh initiative in the field of urban renewal and were also updated on the Commission’s recently launched cohesion policy reform packages known by the acronyms JASPERS and JEREMIE.
The new initiative aims to blend the Community’s broad urban infrastructure investment projects with long-term loan packages to be provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB). The main focus is urban renewal and social housing.
The Joint Assistance in Supporting Projects in European Regions (JASPERS) project is a new technical assistance partnership which aims to enhance co-operation between the Commission, the EIB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The comprehensive assistance to be provided under JASPERS will be accessible by the beneficiary member states free of charge. JASPERS will concentrate on “large” projects in the EU-10 states plus Bulgaria and Romania.
The Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) project is geared toward financing start-ups, SMEs and micro-enterprise development via technical assistance, grants, loans or equity to cover specific regional needs. The project will involve the European Investment Fund and will concentrate on highly innovative activities.