Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme

REG-STAR

Programme funding

EUR 200 million

Official Journal Reference

C 33 of 1991-02-08

Legislative Reference

91/C33/04
To promote the use of advanced telecommunications services in regions whose development is lagging behind (Objective 1 areas), and in particular to improve access to such services available elsewhere in the European Community.

Abstract

For the period 1989-1993, resources amounting to more than ECU 60 billion are available, via the three European Funds (ERDF, ESF, EAGGF-Guidance section), for the structural actions of the Community. The major part of these resources is allocated to the Community Support Frameworks (CSF), multi-annual agreements signed between Member States and the Commission of the European Communities, on the basis of which operational programmes can be implemented. In addition, ECU 5.5 billion have been reserved for Community Initiatives, and ECU 300 million for Pilot Projects.

TELEMATIQUE is one of the Community Initiatives, adopted by the Commission on 25 January 1991 within the meaning of Article 11 of Regulation (EEC) No 4253/88 concerning the restructuration of the Structural Funds. It aims to develop, around specific objectives, the process set in motion by the STAR initiative (1987-1991) by encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to use services linked to advanced telecommunications systems. It is also designed to assist SMEs located in Objective 1 areas to initiate or develop such services. Finally, it is intended to promote the development in the public sector of services for data communication likely to contribute to regional development.

The emphasis is on services, and not on investments in infrastructure which are considered only where they are directly linked to the promotion of the services targeted by the initiative. The overall purpose is to exploit, in the fast-changing area of advanced telecommunications services, the potential of an integrated European market in order to contribute to strengthening the Community's economic and social cohesion.

Subdivision

Eligible measures within three main domains:

- Development of the use by SMEs of services linked to advanced telecommunications systems and of the supply of such services by SMEs, including all SMEs whatever their legal status, with special attention to the smallest enterprises and with special attention to projects which will increase the effectiveness of measures in favour of SMEs in respect of which Community funds have already been granted under SPRINT and IMPACT:
. Promotion, by agencies, chambers of commerce or other bodies, of the use of advanced services by SMEs, including in the tourism sector;
. Feasibility studies, pilot actions and demonstration projects concerning applications of advanced services relevant to SMEs;
. Aid to SMEs, individually or in groups, for the purchase of software and equipment for data communication to enable or develop the use of advanced services;
. Aid to SMEs, individually or in groups, to create or develop new activities associated with the provision to third parties of services linked to advanced telecommunication systems;

- Development of services in the public sector for data communication likely to contribute to regional development, with special attention to actions intended to ensure the establishment at a national and regional level of services for data communication directly related to the decentralized management of the Structural Funds, including the interfaces enabling automatic data transmission to the Commission:
. Studies to evaluate the contribution to regional development of the use of public sector services linked to advanced telecommunications systems;
. Assistance to carry out pilot projects based on such studies;
. Aid for the purchase of software and equipment for data communication by public or similar bodies, including that enabling them to have access to transeuropean services in the public sector;

- Development of networks inside Objective 1 areas and between those areas and the rest of the European Community:
. Aid for the installation of standardized equipment for accessing data communications networks in the Community, enabling the recipient areas to make better use of data communication services offered on the Community market;
. Small investments to improve data communication infrastructures directly linked with the measures referred to under the first two heading above.

Implementation

The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme.

The programme is the subject of joint financing by the Member States and the Community. In eligible areas the total contribution by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) during the 1991-1993 period is estimated at ECU 200 million. Loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) may also be made available under certain conditions to finance part of the costs not covered by the Structural Funds..

The amount of Community support given to the operational programmes (OPs) depends on their quality and on the population of the eligible regions. In assessing the quality of the programmes, the Commission takes into account in particular the following points:
- Their contribution to the development of the areas concerned and the integration of the Community market;
- Monitoring and evaluation methods, defined in agreement with the Commission;
- The additionality of financial resources available to TELEMATIQUE compared to those presently foreseen in the Community Support Frameworks for similar purposes, and other national spending in the fields concerned.

In the preparation and implementation of programmes, the Commission provides the technical assistance required to ensure that the systems are adapted to the needs of the regions and SMEs, given the existing infrastructure and networks. The Member State and the Commission define jointly the monitoring and assessment methods. A Monitoring Committee, representing the regions, the Member State and the Commission, is set up for each OP.

Member States, taking into account the proposals of regional authorities, businesses and bodies concerned, were required to submit detailed proposals for OPs before 25 July 1991. The Commission may not take account of proposals received after that date. However, after the adoption of an OP, individual projects meeting the criteria of the OP may still be submitted to the relevant authorities.
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