On 29 January, Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner visits the Podkarpackie region in Poland, where she will hold talks with Marshal Zygmunt Cholewinski and the Regional Development Agency. She will also visit the Aeropolis Science and Technology Park, which has received funding through the EU's Cohesion Policy, and take part in a debate with business leaders and academics on the future development of Podkarpackie.
Speaking ahead of her visit, Commissioner Hübner said: "Podkarpackie's new Cohesion Policy priorities target investment in key sectors like aviation and technology – this plays to the region's strengths and helps maximise its development potential. Its focus on business competitiveness, innovation, infrastructure and tourism will ensure that the region addresses the global downturn and emerges stronger from it.”
Podkarpackie regional programme for 2007-2013
On the morning of her visit, Commissioner Hübner will hold talks with Marshal Cholewinski and representatives of the Regional Development Agency, which is responsible for overseeing EU structural fund investments in Podkarpackie. Their discussions will focus on the region's Cohesion Policy programme, which will receive more than € 2.2 billion in total from the European Regional Development Fund (€ 1.13 billion), European Social Fund (€ 367 million) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (around € 700 million) in 2007-13. This funding will support projects aimed at boosting business competitiveness, innovation, tourism, cultural heritage, transport infrastructure, rural development and environmental protection (see MEMO/08/115).
The region will also benefit from an advance payment of € 45.5 million in 2009, including € 27.7 million added as a result of the Commission's European Economic Recovery Plan. Added to the sums already paid up-front by the Commission in 2007-08, this means Podkarpackie will have received advances totalling € 102.2 million, which will help speed up project implementation and boost confidence in the regional economy.
The Cohesion Policy investments are expected to:
-Create around 8000 new jobs;
-Increase GDP in the region by 2.7%.
-Provide financial support for up to 700 micro-enterprises;
-Construct around 94 km of new roads;
-Modernise 600 km of existing roads;
-Improve tourist amenities and renovate around 20 buildings of significant cultural heritage value.
Project visits in Podkarpackie
The Commissioner will visit the Aeropolis Science and Technology Park, which has received €10 million from the ERDF to upgrade facilities and develop R&D. Building on the long-standing traditions of the aviation industry in the region and benefitting from its proximity to major road links and the international airport at Rzeszow-Jasionka, Aeropolis has developed into a first-rate business cluster at the heart of Podkarpackie's 'Aviation Valley'. It is widely regarded as one of Poland's showcase centres for the promotion of technology transfer and enhanced skills through its associated academic centres.
EU funding support in difficult economic times
The Commissioner will later take part in a round-table debate with representatives of business and academia on the future of Podkarpackie and investment priorities in response to the economic downturn. Danuta Hübner will set out the measures taken by the Commission in the context of its European Recovery Plan. These include plans to increase advance payments to Member States in 2009 and to speed up the implementation of EU-backed projects.
Note for editors
Poland is the biggest beneficiary of EU investment under the European Cohesion Policy in 2007-2013. It will receive a total of €67.3 billion.
More information on European regional policy in Poland: