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
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.