You are here: Home page » Horizontal policies » Regional policy and rural development

Regional policy and rural development

Europe’s regions are crucial to the creation of employment and economic development, especially in disadvantaged areas and new Member States. UEAPME has set up a Regional Policy and Structural Funds Working Group, which gathers experts from the main SME and Craft associations of Europe to discuss current and future European Cohesion Policy and the role crafts and SMEs can play.

Video: Cohesion policy and Small Business Act


Children show clear ideas on how the "think small first" principle is an added value for the development of regions and rural areas. Watch the video!

Position papers and other policy documents

-  October 2017: UEAPME letter to the new President of the CoR

-  June 2017: UEAPME position on a Reformed Cohesion Policy Post 2020

-  20/01/2016: UEAPME note on SME access to ESIF - HLG simplification meeting (Annex and Presentation)

-  January 2017: UEAPME letter to MEP Krehl on ESIF report

-  09/12/2016: UEAPME comments and proposals on Gold Plating

-  01/12/2015: UEAPME proposals on e-governance

-  October 2015: ESIF: UEAPME proposals for SMEs and micro enterprises (Annex)

-  20/11/2014: UEAPME Pledge for the Committee of the Regions’ Charter on Multilevel Governance

- March 2013: Letter to Vice President Tajani and Commissioners Ciolos, Hahn and Andor on the negotiations on the European Agricultural Rural Development Fund (EARDF)

-  February 2013: UEAPME comments on the “draft guidelines on regional State aid for 2014-2020”

-  August 2012: UEAPME position on the "partnership principle" in the new cohesion policy (aussi disponible en français)

-  March 2012: UEAPME position on the legislative proposals for laying down common provisions on the European Structural Funds for 2014-2020

-  February 2011: UEAPME position on the fifth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion: the future of cohesion policy (aussi disponible en français)

-  January 2011: UEAPME position on the Communication of the European Commission on innovation and regional policy (aussi disponible en français)

-  January 2011: UEAPME response to the Commission communication and to the impact study on the common agricultural policy up to 2020 (aussi disponible en français)

-  January 2011: UEAPME response to the public consultation on the common agricultural policy up to 2020

- June 2010: Discussion paper: The role of Craft and SMEs for regional development and access of SMEs to European Funds and financial programmes

- June 2010: Discussion paper: Innovation policy at regional level

-  March 2010: UEAPME proposals for simplification measures of the administrative rules and the financial management of structural funds

-  December 2009: UEAPME response to the Committee of the Regions’ White Paper on “Multilevel Governance” (aussi disponible en français)

-  February 2009: UEAPME position paper on the Green paper on Territorial Cohesion

-  January 2008: UEAPME response to the European Commission’s consultation “Growing regions, growing Europe”

-  May 2004: UEAPME’s Position on the Third Report of European Cohesion Policy

Press releases

-  15/03/2013: Rural development: Parliament’s vote on EARDF ignores non-farming SMEs

-  15/03/2012: Cohesion policy for 2014-2020 must keep a clear focus on SMEs

-  06/10/2011: Cohesion policy: SMEs overall satisfied with Commission’s proposals

-  25/06/2010: Regional funds and programmes are not reaching SMEs, warn UEAPME members

-  11/02/2010: L’artisanat et les PME soutiennent les efforts des régions en faveur du Small Business Act

-  20/09/2004: Rural development fund: UEAPME praises historic win for rural micro-entreprises

-  11/05/2004: UEAPME welcomes 3rd Cohesion report

-  16/02/2004: Regional Policy: focus must be given to SMEs in less developed rural areas says UEAPME (aussi disponible en français)

Other publications

-  15/06/2018: Future European Social Fund - Better Supporting Capacity Building of Social Partner Organisations