Cohesion Policy represents one of the Union’s main instruments in support of the development strategies of European regions and cities. In particular, it supports the implementation of local growth and innovation policies, by sustaining actions concerning job creation, business competitiveness, sustainable development, etc.
In the coming years [2021-2027] the Policy will focus its resources on the following 5 strategic objectives:
1. a more competitive and smarter Europe, through innovation, digitalisation, economic transformation and support for SMEs;
2. a greener and zero-carbon emission Europe, thanks to investments in energy transition, renewable resources and in the fight against climate changes;
3. a more connected Europe, provided with strategic mobility and digital networks;
4. a more social and inclusive Europe, that sustains quality employment, education, professional skills, social inclusion and an equal access to health system;
5. a Europe closer to its citizens, that supports locally managed development strategies and a sustainable urban development across Europe.
Operationally, the Cohesion Policy is implemented through funds under shared management, i.e. funds managed jointly by the Commission and the individual EU States benefiting from the Cohesion Policy [so-called European Structural and Investment Funds – ESI Funds].
At national level, the document that outlines the strategy to be implemented, the selected priorities and the modalities for the use of these Funds is the Partnership Agreement; while, at regional level, the Policy is implemented through Operational Programmes defined for each ESI Funds.
For Veneto, in line with CP objectives and the national Partnership Agreement, on 12th October 2021, the Regional Government adopted the proposals for the Programme relating to the ESI Funds ERDF and ESF+ for the next seven years.
On 1st August 2022, the European Commission adopted the Regional Programme ESF+ with the Implementing Decision C(2022)5655.
The European Regional Development Fund [ERDF] focuses on strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union, by reducing disparities between the Regions of Europe. The actions supported by ERDF include, inter alia: research and innovation, support to SMEs and investments in employment; contributions to the transition to a low-carbon economy; support to digital, energy and transport networks; education and social infrastructures; contributions to urban sustainable development.
The European Social Fund+ [ESF+] intervenes in employment field, professional mobility, education and training, social inclusion, also including poverty eradication.
The main target groups of these actions will be research organisations and companies, of any size, single or aggregate.
On 29th April 2022 the Veneto Regional Council approved the Smart Specialisation Strategy [S3] 2021-2027.
Such adoption is one of the enabling conditions, established by the European Regulation n.2021/1060, preliminary to the implementation of the specific objectives envisaged for the ERDF [European Fund for Regional Development] and ESF+ [European Social Fund +].