International: EC embarks on offensive to promote structural aid

BRUSSELS: The European Commission is launching a PR offensive to make people more aware of the structural aid that the EU pays out to boost jobs and regeneration in disadvantaged areas.

BRUSSELS: The European Commission is launching a PR offensive to

make people more aware of the structural aid that the EU pays out to

boost jobs and regeneration in disadvantaged areas.



The proposed regulations will stipulate what kind of information and

publicity measures should be taken by member states between the years

2000 and 2006. It will force many national governments to significantly

increase their development PR budgets.



The aim is to ensure authorities, organisations and businesses know what

structural funds are available and how to apply for them, and to

increase public awareness of the EU’s role in regional development.



A commission spokesman said: ’The regulation brings an obligation to

organise appropriate promotion for the programmes. Every member state

will be encouraged to increase publicity. Because the level of

promotional activity has varied in the EU, some will need to do more

work than others.’



Structural funds - such as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

and the European Social Fund - support projects to promote regional

development.



They regenerate areas of industrial decline, combat long-term

unemployment, boost agriculture and provide training.



One such example is The Lowry at Salford Quays, which received over

pounds 15 million from the ERDF. The venue is the UK’s national landmark

millennium project for the arts and includes theatres, bars and a

gallery of Lowry paintings.



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