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The structural and cohesion policy is one of the central policy areas of the European Union. Around a third of the EU's public funds are being used for it. The aim of it is to reinforce economic, social, and territorial solidarity (or "cohesion") in the EU, mainly by fostering growth and employment in those regions whose development is lagging behind (so-called "structurally weak regions").
But not only between EU member states but also within the member states structural challenges force governments not to leave weaker regions behind. In Germany it is even constitutionally fixed in the Basic Law. Therefore structural policy is part of the general area of German economic policy. Its main task is to enable structurally weak regions to minimize their region-related disadvantages and to provide them with access to general economic developments by mainly creating an attractive economic location attractiveness in order to preserve or create jobs.
What does Germany do to support its structurally weak regions? What can Germany learn from other EU member states and what can they learn from the German approach?
Additionally the European Territorial Cooperation - better known as Interreg supports not only cross-border infrastructure and job market integration, but also cultural exchange. What else can be done to better link regions or even industries that might not be geographical neighbors?
Jan Metzler MP (CDU), Member of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy and Deputy Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the German Bundestag will share his point of view – A GERMAN PERSPECTIVE on these key questions for the European Union. Regional policy and cross-border regional cooperation – a success factor for the European Union?