Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 500 million

Official Journal Reference

C 142 of 1992-06-04

Legislative Reference

To accelerate the diversification of economic activities in regions heavily dependent on the textiles and clothing sector so as to render them less dependent on this sector and to encourage the adjustment of commercially viable businesses in all sectors of industrial activity.


At its meeting on 31 May 1992, the Commission of the European Communities decided to establish a Community initiative (RETEX) for regions heavily dependent on the textiles and clothing sector, within the meaning of Article 11 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 4253/88 (Official Journal No L 374 of 31.12.1988).


Eligible measures:

- Improving know-how by providing businesses with aid to pay for advisory services, and the equipment (excluding machines for production) to put the advice into practice, in the fields of design, quality control, computer-aided manufacturing and planning, marketing and internal business organization, and the health and security of the workforce;

- Aid for the formation of local associations of businesses and other cooperation schemes for the following purposes:
. Improving know-how in the above areas;
. Accelerating the spread of innovative production methods and new forms of business organization;
. Research and development;
. Marketing and diversification of products;
. Strengthening links between firms and their suppliers and customers in order to meet new requirements for flexibility and quality;
. Improving information on market trends in association with schemes to support design, quality and marketing;
. Creating networks of contacts elsewhere in the same Member State and the rest of the Community in connection with the above measures;

- The setting up of a team to provide ideas and advice coordinated with aid schemes to sectors which comprise large numbers of small and medium-sized businesses in the form of internal audits of firms, awareness of their changing environment, and counselling when defining and implementing their modernization plans;

- Temporary contributions towards paying engineers, technical staff and managers who are recruited to help in implementing modernization plans drawn up with the assistance of outside experts;

- Vocational training schemes for staff of businesses, associations of businesses and providers of joint services based in the region concerned, and for staff in textile and clothing firms faced with redundancy or already unemployed;

- The rehabilitation of industrial wasteland, including restoring industrial buildings; aid to reduce pollution caused by industry and for technical assistance intended to promote the development of less polluting production and maintenance processes;

- Improving access to venture capital and loans.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the initiative. Regional and local authorities and the social partners should be involved in the preparation and implementation of operational programmes in the manner appropriate to each Member State. During the preparation of proposals, the Commission offers the necessary technical assistance. Measures are intended to assist all sectors of industrial activity in regions eligible for RETEX. The measures qualifying in a given area will complement the schemes to assist industry, which include assistance for investment in production equipment, contained in the relevant Community support framework.

The zones eligible for RETEX are those which are heavily dependent on the textile and clothing sector which are eligible for assistance from the European Regional Development Fund under Objectives 1, 2 and 5(b). All of the zones which meet the criteria used for the determination of the apportionment of assistance between Member States do not need to be included in the operational programmes submitted by Member States. Equally, the operational programmes may include other Objective 1, 2 or 5(b) areas heavily dependent on the textile and clothing sector but not meeting all of the criteria. Member States are invited to concentrate RETEX on the zones for which the present or anticipated difficulties are the greatest. When submitting proposals for operational programmes implementing RETEX, the Member States will communicate the list and geographical definition of these zones to the Commission.

From 1 January 1994 onwards, zones heavily dependent on the textile and clothing sector within the five East German Laender, and other zones heavily dependent on the textile and clothing sector becoming eligible under Objectives 1, 2 or 5(b), can become eligible to RETEX. This possibility may also be extended to a limited extent to other areas heavily dependent on the textile and clothing sector if the flexibility for Community initiatives to include such areas is established in the amended legislation governing the Structural Funds.

Operational programmes under RETEX are jointly financed by the Member State and the Community. The financial requirement up to the end of 1993 for the Community contribution to RETEX is estimated at ECU 100 million and ECU 400 million for the following four years. To the extent that additional zones become eligible for RETEX from 1 January 1994 onwards, the Commission reserves the right to review the amount of the Community contribution to RETEX.

The assistance provided by the Community to member states will be allocated to the extent of 80% in relation to the dependency on the textile and clothing sector in Objective 1 areas and to the extent of 20% in relation to such dependency in Objective 2 and 5(b) areas. In each of these groups, the apportionment among the Member States will depend on the current level of employment in the textiles and clothing sector in regions or groups of adjoining regions, at the NUTS III level, which meet the following criteria:
- eligible for assistance under Objectives 1, 2 and 5(b);
- have at least 2000 jobs in the textiles and clothing industries;
- have a level of employment in textiles and clothing which is greater than 10% of overall industrial employment.
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