The European Union set up four special programmes, so-called Community Initiatives, in order to find common solutions for problems impacting the entire EU. Similarly to the Structural Funds, Community Initiatives also target economic and social cohesion objectives; the essential difference is in the work methods applied. While the Structural Funds are coordinated at a national level, Community Initiatives are managed centrally by Brussels.

The main objective of the Community Initiatives is to support pioneering and innovative approaches of specific areas. Entities taking part in the Initiatives are committed to publicly disseminating the results they achieve, in order to be able to use experiences gained in other member states and candidate countries.  

A dozen Community Initiatives operated during the previous programming period (1994-99). The European Commission has reduced the number of Community Initiatives to four programmes in the current programming period (2000-2006), in order to ensure efficiency and transparency. 5.35% (10.4 billion Euros) of the appropriations of the Structural Funds are allocated for financing Community Initiatives.

The EQUAL Programme (approximately 26.8 billion Euros) and the INTERREG Programme (approximately 60.9 billion Euros) will be launched in Hungary following accession. Pilot LEADER programmes have been running in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development since 2001, the further development of which made it possible to set up the LEADER+ measure of the Agricultural and Rural Development Operational Programme. 
INTERREG: funds cross-border, trans-national and inter-regional cooperation and planning. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) finances the projects of the INTERREG Programme.

Second calls for applications of the Hungary-Romania and Hungary-Serbia and Montenegro Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2004-2006

LEADER +: The objective of the Programme is to develop rural areas with the active collaboration of local levels and on the basis of the partnership principle.

Use of new technologies and procedures to improve the competitiveness of rural products
Improving the quality of life of the rural population
Optimum exploitation of the natural and cultural values of the given region

Further information:
LEADER+ measure of the Agricultural and Rural Development Operational Programme (ARDOP) presented in the ARDOP programme complement document

EQUAL: The objective of the initiative is to eliminate all disadvantages and inequalities that have evolved in the labour market. Themes eligible for support within the framework of the EQUAL Programme were developed on the basis of the European Employment Strategy, which Strategy defines the following main priorities:   

Improving employment skills and employability
Developing enterprises and entrepreneurial skills
Increasing adaptability
Equal opportunity for men and women
The European Social Fund (ESF) finances the projects of the Equal Programme.

Further information:

URBAN: endeavours to help the sustainable development of cities and urban areas in crisis. It supports urban development strategies developed by local key players in cooperation with social partners, private organisations, community groups and other partnerships. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) finances the projects of the Urban Programme.

Organising trainings in the area of new technologies
Creating car-free zones
Compiling studies on the development of public services
Renovating public areas
Further information: