Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, economic, social and territorial cohesion: This is what the OP ERDF NRW 2014-2020 wants to achieve for the state North Rhine-Westphalia. The OP ERDF NRW strategy specifies the line of approach for making these goals a reality. The strategy is derived from a set of essential components. These are: 

  • the Europe 2020 Strategy
  • the partnership agreement between Germany and the European Commision for the implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)
  • General Regulation
  • Separate Regulation ERDF
  • results of the socio-economic analysis and an analysis of strengths and weaknesses for the state NRW
  • the cabinet resolution concerning the key points in implementing the European structural policy in NRW for the funding period 2014-2020.

These building blocks form the basis from which four distinct focal points of the OP ERDF NRW 2014-2020 strategy were developed. Namely:

  • Maximizing the innovation potential of NRW’s economy
  • Boosting innovative and strongly growing young enterprises, reducing the impediment to growth for SMEs.
  • Managing the energy transition, reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Counteracting disparities: social and ecological prevention in the cities of NRW.

Four priority axes help to actualize these focal points. These are “Strengthening of research, technological development and innovation (priority axis 1), “Strengthening the competitive ability of SMEs” (priority axis 2), “Promoting endeavors to reduce CO2 emissions” (priority axis 3), as well as “Sustainable urban development/prevention” (priority axis 4)

It is an expressive wish that regions in NRW should be involved in the current funding period 2014-2020 as well - a model which has been successfully tested for some years. This is even more significant since the withdrawal of certain industries in recent decades has not only affected local communities, but also whole regions.