The European Commission has completed its review of the regions in the Community eligible for Objective 2 funding under the Structural Funds for the years 1997-1999. Objective 2 areas are the regions hit by industrial decline. The Commission made only minor adjustments to the list in comparison to the current period, recognizing that the problems faced by these regions are long term in nature. One major change concerns Madrid, where an area covering a population of about 5,000 is now eligible. This extension in eligibility is balanced by a comparable reduction in Saragossa, also in Spain. The Commission has set out four priorities for the years in question, namely: jobs; research and development; environmental protection; and equality of opportunities. The funding available for Objective 2 for the years 1997-1999 will total ECU 8.15 billion in 1996 prices.