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1957-1988: The Origins of EU Cohesion and Regional Policy

"We believe there is still a great deal to do in the Community in the field of regional policy. The possibilities have perhaps not been properly realised or acted on. In particular, we need to give a fresh impetus to regional policy formulated at the same level of the Community and, I should point out, with regular cooperation by Member States’ governments, which is essential if it is to succeed." Jean Rey, President of the European Commission 1967-1970.

    Financial instruments and initiatives to address economics and social imbalances at Community level did exist since the beginning of European integration but only in 1986 legal foundations introduced by the Single European Act paved the way for an integrated cohesion policy.
   During the period 1957-1988, the European Social Fund (ESF, since 1958), the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF, since 1962), and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, since 1975) co-financed projects which had been selected beforehand by Member States. more →
Romania - Bulgaria Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2007 - 2013

The Romania-Bulgaria Cross Border Cooperation Programme is an EU financed Operational Programme, applying in Romania and Bulgaria, for the period 2007-2012. The programme supports the development of specific eligible border areas, in Romania and Bulgaria. It aims to create a "bridge" between the two countries, in order to help the border areas overcome their similar development problems, by working together and finding common solutions.

Hence, instead of dividing, the border will unite the areas on either side of the Danube.
   Through the Romania-Bulgaria Cross Border Cooperation Programme the people in border areas will be encouraged to develop new businesses, exchange information and benefit from improved access over the frontier. They will work together on flood prevention, preservation of natural assets and tourism promotion. This will result in increased incentives to live and work in the border communities and will make these areas more attractive to investors. more →


According to the SWOT analysis of the Romania-Bulgaria Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013, the demographic indicators raise challenges for the long- term sustainability of both border regions with development tendencies influenced by peripheral localized economies, agricultural based economy, hardly existing labor supply, and the quality of life as a whole. The same analysis points out the inexistence of the Research and Development Academic Centers (the only exception in Giurgiu) hosted by Universities and that may contribute to the exchange of know- how, cultural links and boost innovation for economic development; to quote, "the Region [the cross border one]has not got sufficient capacity to cover the gaps in the regional innovation system, hence, it is a great need to set up new centers for innovation and applied research" . As a consequence and cause at the same time, the limited academic collaboration in the border regions has limited the capacity of the regions to generate innovation and quality of labor force.

Moreover, as a consequence the structural deficit in terms of human capital in the local communities has had so far negative side effects on the efforts made by both regions administrations to capitalize on the benefits of the European Union Integration. more →

Investing in your future!
Romania - Bulgaria Cross Border Cooperation Programme is co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund
The content of this material does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Union