Wallonia will benefit from EU funds for low-carbon economy21/12/2017

On 12 December 2017, the European Commission announced the regions in industrial transition that will benefit from tailored support under a new EU-funded pilot action, in order to build resilient and low-carbon economies. One of the five regions selected is Wallonia, the other regions are Hauts-de-France in France, Norra Mellansverige in North-Middle Sweden, Piemonte in Italy and Saxony in Germany.

The industrial transition regions pilot action is part of a new set of actions presented by the Commission in July 2017, in order to boost innovation in EU regions. The regions selected have a strong heritage of carbon-intensive industries and therefore they may face a lack of appropriate skills, high labour costs and deindustrialisation, which makes it difficult for them to harness fully the benefits of globalisation and technological change.

The Commission-led pilot action will help Wallonia and the other selected regions to achieve economic transformation on the basis of their "smart specialisation" assets, i.e. the regions' niche areas of competitive strengths, with the aim to embrace innovation, decarbonisation, digitisation, and to develop the skills needed for the future. In particular, the experts from the Commission will help the regions to draw up economic transformation strategies, identify opportunities for interregional cooperation and exchange good practices.

The work with the partnerships will start in January 2018. Comprehensive strategies for regional transformation should be ready by the end of 2018 so that implementation can start in 2019.