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Creating employment through the Structural Funds

The European Commission has set out a number of guidelines on how the EU's Structural Funds can do more for creating employment within the European Union. More investment in human resources, improved business support services, support of technological innovations and a reorgan...
The European Commission has set out a number of guidelines on how the EU's Structural Funds can do more for creating employment within the European Union. More investment in human resources, improved business support services, support of technological innovations and a reorganization of work and working time count among the elements considered necessary to give the Structural Funds an even more employment-intensive angle.

As concrete actions the Commission proposes to allocate the resources derived from annual inflation adjustments (ECU 5 billion in the period 1994-1999) to employment measures and to establish so-called "territorial partnerships for employment", involving the public and private sectors.

In addition, the Commission has set out the following specific objectives aimed at ensuring that the potential of the Structural Funds to create employment is exploited to the full:

- Stressing the importance of non-material investment: The promotion of research, development and innovation, quality services by small firms and the constant improvement of human resources represents a vital contribution to the dissemination and development of new technologies and processes and, hence, to the long-term strengthening of competitiveness and growth;

- Increasing the employment content of economic growth: This implies systematically reinforcing the links between growth and employment, requiring in particular:
. Explicit recognition of the employment and human resources dimension when financing productive investment and infrastructure projects;
. Increased emphasis on integrated local and rural development and employment initiatives in order to better enhance all existing and new sources of jobs;
. Adequate attention to more sustainable growth in environmentally-related products and services;
. Clear encouragement for more dynamic organization of work and working time throughout working life;

- Developing towards an economy of solidarity;

- Making the most of the partnership arrangements in the context of structural assistance.
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