Brussels Daily
26 May 2015


Brussels Daily

EU regions cooperate to improve green investments and innovations

From today on, EU regions will be able to more easily share their expertise about smart investments in sustainable energy. The Smart specialisation platform on energy, which has been launched today at an event at the Joint Research Centre in Brussels, will help EU regions to make better use of Cohesion Policy funding available for investments in energy efficiency, renewables, smart grids and other sustainable energy projects. Participating regions will also be able to share their expertise about how to better make use of innovative sustainable energy technologies and align their innovation activities in the field of energy at national, regional and local levels. EU Commissioner Corina Creţu said: “For 2014-2020, more than EUR 38 billion of Cohesion Policy funding will be invested in achieving the Energy Union Strategy and boosting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors.” Speaking about the new platform she added: “That is why I welcome the new Platform on Energy which will pool joint know-how on sustainable energy and will help regions in making efficient use of the funding available to invest in innovative solutions.” Addressing the participants of the launch event,Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, said: “Building a true Energy Union will require a solid scientific basis, and I am pleased that the Commission’s in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre, plays a vital role in ensuring this. The Smart Specialisation Platform combines scientific expertise and innovative networking tools. It will help regions to access information and to exchange ideas and best practices – generating new expertise and turning them into building blocks of the Energy Union.” A press release is available online.

Adoption of a further 24 Rural Development Programmes to boost the EU farming sector and our countryside

The European Commission has today approved a further 24 Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) aimed at improving the competitiveness of the EU farming sector, caring for the countryside and climate, and strengthening the economic and social fabric of rural communities in the period until 2020. The programmes adopted today are expected, among other things, to lead to the creation of over 40 000 jobs in rural areas and about 700 000 training places to foster innovation, knowledge transfer, more sustainable farming practices and stronger rural businesses. Funding worth 27 billion EUR from the EU budget, co-financed by further public funding at national/regional level and/or private funds, is made available. Welcoming today’s decisions, EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “One of the great strengths of our Rural Development concept is that we have core priorities, but it is up to each Member State or region to design a programme which suits its challenges and opportunities. The programmes adopted today offer funding for a range of dynamic projects, varying from modernisation projects for agriculture and encouraging generational renewal, to rolling out broadband to sparsely populated areas and support for organic farming or enhancing environmentally friendly land management.” The Member States concerned are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK. A press release is available in here, and other language versions. Read Country files: IRELAND here

Read full edition: Daily News 26 – 05 – 2015

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