Objective 2 programme 1994-1999
From 1994 to 1999, the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven formed part of the area of the Community receiving support under Objective 2: "Conversion of regions severely affected by industrial decline". Under the Objective 2 programmes (first programme from 1994-1996 and second programme from 1997-1999), Bremen received a total of around € 100 million in EU support funding (in current prices). Of this, around € 70 million came from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (corresponding to 65 % of the ERDF funding received by the State of Bremen in the relevant period) and just over € 35 million from the European Social Fund (ESF). There were four support priorities in the ERDF sector of the Objective 2 programme:
- diversification and modernisation of the industrial sector (particularly support for individual enterprises, generally SMEs)
- strengthening of the services sector (including support for tourism, urban development and new services in the field of design, new technologies, etc.)
- environmental protection/environmental technologies (e.g. rehabilitation of former industrial sites)
- programme monitoring, technical assistance
The Objective 3 programme of the ESF in Bremen embraced these priorities, insofar as the training measures took account of the priorities of the Objective 2 programme. The breakdown of the funding for the Objective 2 programme from 1997 to 1999 was as follows (cf. chart):
The URBAN Community Initiative
The URBAN Community Initiative funded measures between 1994 and 1999 to assist urban centres and suburbs with particular (mainly social) problems. The projects receiving support were intended to include not only a social component but also in particular an economic aspect. The area selected to receive support under this programme was Gröpelingen, a suburb of Bremen. The projects supported include the conversion of the so-called "Lighthouse" into a centre for mostly new enterprises and the redesigning of the main road, Lindenhofstrasse. The URBAN programme accounted for roughly 7.6 % of Bremen's ERDF funding, or € 13.6 million (in current prices, including funding from the State of Bremen). The ESF was also involved in this Community Initiative, contributing € 1.480 million.
The SME Community Initiative
The aim of this Community Initiative between 1994 and 1999 was to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they adapted to the single European market. A total of approximately € 2 million (in current prices, including funding from the State of Bremen) was available for this. This funding was used to give direct support towards investment by SMEs and to support infrastructure related to multimedia/electronic commerce (Centre for Multimedia and Electronic Commerce – ZmeC – in Bremen-Horn). The SME programme accounted for 1.1 % of all Bremen's ERDF programmes between 1994 and 1999.
The KONVER Community Initiative
This Community Initiative fostered the conversion of regions highly dependent on the defence sector between 1994 and 1999. The aim was to reorient the work previously done by defence technology companies and to adapt former military bases for new purposes. Support was given to some 50 projects in both Bremen and Bremerhaven, including assistance for individual small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), technology transfer, and the rehabilitation of military sites. The funding for this programme totalled roughly € 13 million (in current prices, including co-financing from the State of Bremen). This represents a share of around 7.3 % of the total ERDF support for Bremen between 1994 and 1999.
The RESIDER Community Initiative
This Community Initiative fostered economic restructuring of the worst-hit steel-making regions. In Bremen, the support priorities were the rehabilitation and development of sites previously used by the steel industry and on conversion of the industrial sector by means of financial assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Funding totalling € 6.4 million (in current prices, including assistance from the State of Bremen) supported the implementation of various projects under this Community Initiative. This Community Initiative accounted for roughly 3.6 % of Bremen's ERDF funding between 1994 and 1999.