Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 15 million
To contribute towards the establishment of cooperation networks among regions and towns in the European Union which focus on culture and the development of the regional and local cultural heritage within a framework of inter-regional cooperation and economic development.


Under Article 10 of the Regulation governing the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (2083/93 Official Journal No L 193 of 31.7.1993), the ERDF provides support for innovative actions in regional development through a number of pilot schemes. These innovative measures aim at developing new ways of introducing innovation and technology transfer in the regional agenda through demonstration projects.

The pilot project " Economic development in the field of culture" is one of the eight priority areas identified for support under Article 10 for the period 1995-1999. The others concern:

- Internal inter-regional cooperation;
- External inter-regional cooperation;
- Cooperation in the Information Society;
- Cooperation in innovation and technology transfer;
- Cooperation in new sources of jobs;
- Pilot projects in spatial planning;
- Urban pilot projects.

The actions covered under the programme are designed to promote the development of innovative inter-regional cooperation initiatives focused on highlighting Europe's cultural heritage. More specifically, it is designed to:

- Foster an integrated approach to development by mobilizing regional and local actors in the fields of politics and administration, in the public and private sector, as well as associations;

- Promote exchanges of experience and know-how in the cultural sphere between regional and local authorities with a view to contributing to Community cohesion;

- Promote the use of new information and communications technologies (development and dissemination of information tools based on modern support technology such as CD-ROM, data transmission links, etc.).

The activities are based on an integrated approach which promotes decentralized inter-regional cooperation between public and private bodies with the involvement of regional or local actors. This approach should favour the creation of projects which focus on the conservation and promotion of regional or local cultural heritage, job creation, the integration of the young unemployed and young people into the workplace, and the transfer of know-how and experience.


Eligible spheres of cooperation:

- Historical and architectural heritage (urban, archaeological, military, religious, maritime, etc.);

- Industrial and technology heritage (textiles, iron and steel industry, etc.);

- Craft heritage (crafts, traditional trades, knowledge of traditional ways of working, etc.).


The pilot project "Economic development in the field of culture" is implemented by DG XVI of the European Commission within the framework of Article 10 of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Regulation.

The action is implemented by calls for proposals for the establishment of cooperation networks published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. A single sphere of cooperation may be chosen as the basis for establishing a network, or one such sphere may be linked with a maximum of two others, provided there is a logical connection between them. In other words, a maximum of three topics per cooperation network may be submitted. The proposals must relate to the topics indicated in the "Subdivisions" section of this record.

Priority is accorded to regional and local networks in the following regions: Objective 1 (regions whose development is lagging behind); Objective 2 (regions facing industrial decline); Objective 5(b) (vulnerable rural regions); and Objective 6 (sparsely inhabited regions). Regional and local authorities from Objective 1 and/or possibly Objective 6 areas must make up at least one third of the partners and account for one third of the Community financial contribution applied for.

Regional and local authorities which are located outside eligible areas may participate in the network where they genuinely supply the added-value necessary to attain a project's objectives. However, in no case may the number of Objective 1, 2, 5(b) and 6 regions participating in a network be a minority in relation to the total number of participants.

The networks must involve partners from local or regional authorities in three to six different regions and at least three Member States. The number of regional and local authorities participating in the implementation of the network may not exceed six unless good justification can be demonstrated.

Community financial support for selected projects, which must be completed within a two-year period, is normally in the order of ECU 600,000. Such financial support may not exceed 75% of the total costs of the projects in the case of regions and authorities in ERDF Objective 1 and Objective 6 areas or 50% for all other regions. Public and/or private trade and industry must contribute between 20% and 25% of the total budget of a project.
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