"The 6th cohesion report confirms serious inequalities in EU regions, this is why we need a reinforced cohesion policy in the future ", emphasises Nicola Zingaretti

​The CoR plenary session unanimously adopted the draft opinion on the Sixth report on economic, social and territorial Cohesion, by Nicola Zingaretti, President of the Lazio region (PES/Italy).

The rapporteur makes a series of policy recommendations which he will closely follow up in the coming months with his counterparts in the European Parliament: the rapporteur Tamas Deutsch (EPP/Hungary) and the S&D shadow rapporteur Mercedes Bresso (Italy), former CoR President. Such recommendations include:

  • defending the need for new resources aimed at relaunching public and private investment, creating synergies with other instruments and strengthening the role of the European Investment Bank;
  • reiterating the CoR request that public spending by national and local and regional authorities as part of Structural and Investment Fund co-financing should not be included in national expenditure as defined within the Stability and Growth Pact;
  • calling on the Commission to adopt the measures required to speed up the launch of  the new programming period and to improve monitoring and results assessment;
  • improving the coordination between cohesion policy and the Europe 2020 strategy by including a chapter on economic, social and territorial cohesion in the Annual Growth Survey;
  • including social, environmental and territorial indicators in the scoreboard of the macroeconomic imbalance procedure (“six-pack”);
  • improving efficiency and effectiveness of public administrations and creating a “Cohesion Policy Council”, comprising the national ministers in charge of cohesion policy.

After its unanimous adoption, the opinion fed into the debate with the Commissioner in charge of regional policy, Corina Cretu, who underlined that she considers the CoR as a natural partner in making a success of cohesion policy and reassured members that "cohesion policy will make the best possible contribution to the [Juncker] Investement Package".

Intervening on behalf of the PES Group and in order to dissipate any misunderstandings, Michel Delebarre (France), warned – in relation to the recently announced investment package - against rechanneling any money from the cohesion funds into other projects. "Cohesion policy must stick to its primary mission, that is, promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion, and therefore, it must not be high jacked for the sake of macroeconomic policies", he emphasised.

Continuing on the same wave length, Nicola Zingaretti added: "Against heavy cuts in public budgets, cohesion policy has become for many regions the only channel through which public investment programmes and quality services for citizens are supported. Cohesion policy may be conceived in Brussels, but it is rooted in our municipalities and regions, and it involves even the smallest and most remote local communities. This is why it must be further strengthened in the future".


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