Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Cohesion policy

EU Structural Funds - 25.06.2009

New EU Structural Funds allocated to energy and housing

New Structural Funds’ opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy in housing are made available from June 2009 on.

This was the main message of the conference organised by CECODHAS, the European network of social and cooperative housing federations and CEMR, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, on 22 June 2009 in Brussels.

Almost 8 billion € from the European Regional Development Fund over the period 2007-2013 are made available from June 2009 on to co-finance insulation works, installation of solar panels, … in existing housing stock in all EU regions.

At the conference, Dirk Ahner, Director General for Regional Policy at the European Commission, said: Being a European Cohesion Policy instrument, ERDF support is directed only where the need exists, where public support is necessary, and in a way supporting social cohesion. In this context, social housing could be a priority field of intervention.


Carola Gunnarsson, Mayor of Sala in Sweden and CEMR rapporteur on cohesion and territorial policies, stresses that the local and regional level have a leading role to play in the implementation of economic stimulus and recovery programmes, and their investments are more likely to be successful and more speedily than those made at other levels. In order to achieve this objective, local and regional governments, however, need the necessary political recognition as well as adequate financial and technical support.

David Orr, President of CECODHAS, concludes that in terms of climate change, we are one minute to midnight. We must use this new opportunity given by the EU structural funds to act rapidly. Energy investments in high quality social and cooperative housing will not only help to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, it will also create jobs and decrease fuel poverty, which hits too many households.
A CECODHAS information leaflet on the new ERDF rule has been presented at the conference and is available on the CECODHAS website. This leaflet contains questions and answers about the legislative reform and illustration of how Member States, regions and local actors can use this new opportunit.

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