THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- endorses the key objectives that the Commission pursues with the new Common Provisions Regulation (CPR), in particular to modernise cohesion policy by making it simpler, more flexible and more effective, and to substantially reduce unnecessary administrative burdens for beneficiaries and managing authorities;
- underlines the importance of the principles of partnership and multi-level governance and calls for the inclusion of the existing Code of Conduct as an Annex to the draft Regulation; calls for the full implementation of the Code of Conduct to ensure that the involvement of local and regional authorities amounts to full partnership;
- considers that taking the EAFRD out of the CPR risks undermining the integrated approach of the Structural and Investment Funds in rural areas and calls therefore for the EAFRD to be reintroduced into the CPR;
- points out that reintroducing the "n+2" rule would cause the overlap of the closure of the current programming period with the first n+2 target of the new one, which imposes a heavy administrative burden on the implementation of programmes. In this respect, calls for maintaining the current "n+3" rule;
- asks to maintain the current level of co-financing rates at 85% for the less developed regions, the outermost regions, as well as for the Cohesion Fund and the ETC goal, at 70% for the transition regions, and at 50% for the more developed regions;
- considers that the safety net provided by the Commission at national level does not prevent disproportionate cuts in individual assisted areas, which would not be justified by cohesion policy. Suggests therefore a similar safety net at regional level;
- reiterates the firm opposition of the CoR to the negative idea of macro-economic conditionality.