The CoR's plenary session adopted today the draft opinion on "Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) – a challenge for EU cohesion policy after 2020" by PES member Petr Osvald, Councillor of Plzeň (Czech Republic).
"Integrated Territorial Investments" (which have been introduced as a cohesion policy tool in the 2014-2020 programming period and which allow for running territorial strategies that combine fundings from different sources) appear to be an effective tool for implementing a place-based approach. It has already been successfully employed in many Member States in various forms", underlined the COTER chair. "However, if we want to make the most of the region's potential and address the increasing subregional disparities, we need to go a step further in the upcoming period of the programme".
In his draft opinion, Petr Osvald makes a series of proposals to ensure a more effective implementation of the ITI as well as a faster delivery, including the facts that:
- the ITI approach should be more fully exploited beyond urban areas and more widely implemented in functional areas defined in different ways on the basis of local conditions;
- it should be mandatory for all Member States to use this tool;
- the implementing bodies delivering ITI should be reserved exclusively for local and regional authorities, and should have a maximum flexibility in the selection of activities and interventions aimed at effectively combining EU, own, national and private resources;
- last but not least, the implementation of the ITI tool should be incorporated into the draft legislation on ESI Funds post-2020, which will underpin the future cohesion policy.