Fundación Equipo Humano assisted to the Spanish ERDF Sustainable Growth pluri-regional Operational Programme this morning at the City of Justice in Valencia. The objective was to extend horizons for further action on boosting workplace insertion and continuous workers’ skills development. High representatives from the regional, state and European administrations cheered urban authorities above 20,000 inhabitants to apply for getting their Integrated Sustainable Urban Strategies funded by the ERDF, through a new call for proposals opening in the upcoming weeks.
Among the most interesting strategic priorities for FEH, this ERDF Operational Programme includes the “physical, economic and social revitalisation of the urban environment through integrated urban strategies”. During the coffee break, local and supra-local authorities, foundations, enterprises and consultants exchanged capacities and shared ideas on projects to answer to this challenge in different territories.
The Head of Unit of Intelligent and Sustainable Growth – South Europe from DG Regio, European Commission, Charlina Vitcheva, highlighted the importance of addressing the challenges of urban areas, the necessary resource efficiency and city empowerment during the selection of the projects making up their strategy to be presented to the Managing Authority.
In turn, the Regional Secretary of Housing, Public Works and Spatial Planning from the Generalitat Valenciana, Josep Vicent Boira i Maiques, argued for the transition from the local paradigm to the functional urban area as a centrepiece of the Valencian Territorial Strategy.
In order to obtain ERDF funding, urban authorities are required to develop a comprehensive territorial diagnosis detailing its needs, as well as a strategy participated by different social actors and backed by political bodies. Cities will select those projects contributing to the implementation of this strategy, according to the topics addressed in the ERDF Operational Programme. The diagnose and strategy should be almost completed at this stage, since the imminent call will only enable participants to present their proposals during 45 days.
Despite the enormous amount of money involved, during the last review of European regional categories, the Region of Valencia ranked among the most developed ones, therefore losing a high percentage of co-financing. Now it is situated at a 50%, face to neighbouring regions of Castille-La Mancha or the Region of Murcia with an 80% co-financing.
Nevertheless, ERDF is still one of the key local and supra-local invigorating agents. Fundación Equipo Humano can play a relevant role in projects such as those oriented towards the socio-economic revitalisation of urban areas through training.