The integration of the Lisbon objectives into the European Structural Policy and the role of Innovative Regions
The position paper focuses on European Structural Policy in the light of the potential of innovative regions to reach the Lisbon goal. This entails a) supporting those Regions in particular Metropolitan Regions which are a driving force under the new Objective 2 Regional competitiveness and employment in a bid to shore up excellence in Europe; b) Retaining interregional cooperation under the new Objective 3 and promoting the opportunity to work in partnership with complementary or competing regions throughout Europe ( not limited to specific established areas); c) Making clear that investment in research, innovation, employment, environmental protection and infrastructure are the key to the future and that they must also be better reflected in the drawing up of the EU budget. In concrete terms, this means, for example, supporting appropriate activities via Structural Funds; developing efficient governance structures; establishing clusters at both regional and European level; grouping together excellence in a regional and european framework; setting up regional offices for innovation; promoting special measures to implement environmentally friendly regional planning, policies to tackle the increasing volume of traffic etc.; supporting activities which promote cooperation and competition between innovative regions and so forth.