Regions call for EFSI to help bridge digital divide
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has called on the EU to focus its proposed Investment Plan more strongly on the digital economy in the regions. At a CoR conference in Riga, CoR President Markku Markkula expressed his concern that Europe was facing a "digital divide", thus increasing regional disparity. He added that the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) must be used to effectively target more isolated regions with a view to increasing their innovation capacity to allow them to "compete with the best innovation hubs in the world".
Zoran Stančič, Deputy Director-General at the European Commission who also took part in the debate, said that from the Commission's point of view, regions and cities were natural partners in the EU Investment Plan which combines private and EU funds. President Markkula emphasised the important role local and regional authorities play in this context and added that the EFSI must complement, and not undermine, EU regional funding.
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