THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- considers the reform of the EU's economic governance framework inevitable given the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and given the need to encourage public investment to help achieve the EU's commitments when it comes to the green and digital transitions;
- recalls that local and regional authorities (LRAs) are on the frontline for dealing with these multiple challenges, and are responsible for more than half of public investment in Europe;
- supports the principle of a possible extension to the fiscal adjustment period in specific cases and believes that investments and reforms aimed at promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and at implementing the EU Green Deal and the digital transition, could be reasons for allowing such an extension for a limited amount of time;
- recalls that expenditure under co-financing is, by definition, essential for the implementation of EU priorities – the European Green Deal, economic, social and territorial cohesion, the Sustainable Development Goals, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the 2030 Policy Programme 'Path to the Digital Decade'. Granting this expenditure favourable treatment within the financial framework would boost the overall coherence of European policies.