Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

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Programme funding

EUR 500 million

Official Journal Reference

C 180 of 1994-07-01
To ensure the continuation of measures aimed at improving the infrastructure and physical and social environment in areas worst hit by unemployment as a consequence of the decline in steel production, as well as to establish new job-creating activities, encourage the growth of SMEs and promote innovation in these areas.


In light of the continuing problems facing the steel sector, the RESIDER II initiative is established to ensure the continuation during the period 1994-1997 of the activities carried out under the first phase of the initiative. RESIDER aims to accelerate the economic conversion of areas worst hit by the problems of industrial restructuring by means of an effort which is additional to that foreseen in the Community Support Frameworks. Priority is given to improving the environment, promoting new economic activities and to the development of human resources.

During the second phase of the initiative, a greater stress is to be placed in the operational programmes on innovation and the transfer of technology, in order to improve the integration of SMEs into their economic environment. An emphasis is also placed on technical assistance and the exchange of information.

The total value of the RESIDER programmes during the first phase of the initiative amounted to a total of ECU 1,395 million, of which ECU 272 million came from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Besides ERDF funding, assistance was also received from the ECSC (redeployment aids under Article 56 of the ECSC Treaty and interest subsidies) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

In terms of economic impact, most of the actions financed concerned infrastructure (54% of the ERDF contribution), the improvement of know-how in small businesses (24% of the ERDF contribution), and aid for investment (18% of the ERDF contribution). The bulk of the investment in infrastructure related to the environment and facilities in areas which had become run down as a result of the declining steel industry.


Eligible measures:

- Environmental improvement of areas seriously damaged by steel production, including the conversion and modernization of disused steel production buildings for SMEs;

- Renovation and modernization of social and economic infrastructure in steel areas;

- Construction of new advance factory units and workshop premises;

- Promotion of alternative economic activities, in particular the creation or development of SMEs through such measures as:
. Promotion of cooperation between companies and research centres, universities, centres of technology transfer and training centres;
. Assisting the promotion of innovation in industry and services, by means of the collection of information relating to product or process innovation and its dissemination, and by means of aids to the commercial application of innovations in SMEs;
. The provision of assistance for productive investment;

- Assisting the promotion of tourist activities, especially those based on industrial heritage;

- Assisting the creation or increased activity of economic conversion bodies and regional development teams;

- Assisting vocational training and employment measures, especially for the unemployed, persons threatened with unemployment and persons employed in SMEs. Support is given to existing training institutes as well as the construction of new facilities for vocational training of all kinds in steel areas;

- Interest rebates on ECSC loans for investments in SMEs (ECSC definition), and for the reclamation of sites for industrial use;

- Promotion of cross-border cooperation between former steel areas;

- Redeployment aids available under Article 56 of the ECSC Treaty;

- Any other measures which contribute to the economic conversion of the area concerned and which loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) can be approved.


Operational programmes selected under the RESIDER II initiative are jointly financed by the Community and the Member States. Community assistance to measures selected in eligible areas is in the form of loans or grants, which may be funded through the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF), and the European Social Fund (ESF). Loans from the resources of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) may also be made available. During the period 1994 to 1997, the total ERDF and ESF contribution to eligible areas for RESIDER is estimated at ECU 500 million.

The Commission, after consulting the Member States concerned, will publish a revised list of steel areas eligible for support under RESIDER II in the Official Journal of the European Communities. The Member States may propose areas which meet the criteria of Objective 1, 2 or 5(b) status and which satisfy the conditions of a minimum number of job losses in the steel sector since the reference date of 1 January 1986. In addition, the Member States may propose for eligibility a limited number of other areas which do not meet the stated criteria and thresholds, providing the area in question has a high dependence on the steel industry, and is hit by other problems such as high unemployment, environmental degradation, isolation or peripherality.

Member States having eligible steel areas in the list published by the Commission are invited to submit detailed proposals for operational programmes or global grants to the Commission before 1 November 1994. Regional and local authorities and social partners should be involved in both the preparation and subsequent implementation of the operational programmes in the manner appropriate to each Member State.

The Member States' proposals must include an appreciation of the situation indicating the objectives to be attained and should include a time table, criteria and procedures for implementation, monitoring and assessment. During and at the end of the planning period, the Commission will evaluate, in partnership with the Member States concerned, the results of the programmes submitted. The European Parliament, the Management Committee on the Community initiatives and the monitoring committees will be informed of the results of such evaluations and the action taken in response to them.

Cooperation between beneficiaries will be encouraged both within and between the Member States to foster the exchange of experience, the dissemination of best practice, joint operations and comparative evaluations. The Commission urges Member States to take account of this aim in both the preparation and subsequent management of the programmes.


RESIDER 2 was established by a Decision of the European Commission, meeting on 15 June 1995, in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations governing the Structural Funds.
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