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M. Jérôme BALOGE

Mayor of Niort, President of the Niort CA


How does Europe benefit your city?

Europe contributes to the development of the territory of Niort by allocating funds to finance projects on various themes of the City, the Urban Community of Niort and all the actors of the territory (social landlords, IIBSN, companies, Consular Chambers, farmers…). The proposed projects may relate to the operation or investment of structuring equipment. In addition, through targeted programs of the European Union, the City of Niort benefits from indirect aids to promote a healthier diet in schools.


As a local elected representative, what are your expectations of the European institutions?

Access to institutions’ facilities must be facilitated to enable medium-sized cities to apply for and benefit from European funds. The difficulty lies mainly in the choice of criteria that limit the possibilities of soliciting calls for proposals. On the other hand, time constraints may prevent cities from responding, particularly because of the timeframes inherent in the functioning of communities and their financial capacity to secure resources for project financing. The opportunity of an application turns out to be difficult in this case, whereas the guidelines for calls for proposals can be of real interest to the city.


Why must European funds be saved for all regions?

In a difficult budgetary context, it is essential to be able to rely on a broader level in order to bring the necessary cohesion and solidarity between the territories. The differences between the regions can thus stimulate projects and innovation according to various problems but also federate actions on mutual issues. Limiting European funds to regions in difficulty alone would not promote overall attractiveness. Large-scale projects must be able to be carried out in promising sectors to raise the level of performance throughout the French territory, even the European territory.


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