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Commission awards ECU 65 million for Dutch industrial restructuring

The European Commission has approved, in principle, a programme under Objective 2 of the Structural Funds for industrial restructuring in the Dutch region of Zuid-Limburg. A total of ECU 65.52 million in Community funding will go to the region, to support projects aimed at imp...
The European Commission has approved, in principle, a programme under Objective 2 of the Structural Funds for industrial restructuring in the Dutch region of Zuid-Limburg. A total of ECU 65.52 million in Community funding will go to the region, to support projects aimed at improving employment prospects.

The Zuid-Limburg programme is the last in the series of Dutch Objective 2 programmes approved by the Commission for 1997 to 1999, involving total Community funding of ECU 361.97 million. The Zuid-Limburg programme will contribute to the creation of 4,000 new jobs and 1,577 temporary jobs, as well as providing training for over 7,000 people. Seven new technology and training centres will be set up, and more than 170 hectares of business sites created or renovated.

The Community funding will be matched by national and private finance, bringing the total investment up to ECU 222.24 million. The programme will improve living standards and create employment in the region, while not harming the environment. Zuid-Limburg is a former mining area and unemployment is relatively high, with female unemployment higher than male unemployment. The economy is highly dependent on industry, making it vulnerable to business cycles. In addition, SMEs form a small percentage of industry in the regions, and exports make up a low proportion of production.

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