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Cornwall … Where Next?

  • July 10th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

cornwall-flag.jpgThe land of plausibly good surfing beaches, smugglers and Summer holidays has been praised as a leader in the drive for development where regions of Europe play a leading part.

The European Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hubner visiting Newquay and other parts of Cornwall (5.7.07) said the South-west of England was a prime example of a shift in focus towards investment for the future in research and development, innovation, support for information and communication technology businesses, and entrepreneurship generally.

More people were rapidly moving into of the region because of the quality life it could offer together with the direction of spending for economic growth.

The European Union is emphasising “new economy” industries like research or IT, in its so-called “Lisbon process for jobs and growth” – and matching that with support for regions.

Often enough this can mean by-passing national authorities, and regions get direct access in Brussels, e.g. a visit in 2007 by the First Minister of Scotland.

The Commissioner said 86 out of 286 European regions had been identified as lagging in innovative performance, (notably in new member states of Eastern Europe, Spain Greece, Portugal and Southern Italy), but others were taking a lead (especially in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany).

Commissioner Hubner said bids were being invited for EU funding support for a new round of regional development projects in the coming months.

Picture: The black flag of Cornwall, they say, has nothing to do with a tradition of piracy; it’s the banner of St Piran, patron of the region’s tin miners.