The PES Group's 1st Vice-President, Christophe Rouillon, Mayor of Coulaines (France), took the floor today at the CoR's plenary session in response to the intervention of Matti Maasikas, the Estonian Deputy Minister of European Affairs, who briefed members on the priorities of the Estonian EU Presidency, based on an open and innovative European economy, a safe and secure Europe, a digital Europe and on an inclusive and sustainable Europe.
In his speech, Rouillon raised his concerns about growing disparities between regions and stressed that "Estonia, as one of the smaller Member States, is particularly legitimate to be an honest broker in the upcoming negotiations on the future of the cohesion policy, keeping it as much as possible safe from national governments' horse trading." We need to defend an ambitious reform of the cohesion policy as a pillar of the European investment policy and which will put the interest of EU citizens first", he stressed.
He also called for a closer follow-up on the 'Reflecting on Europe' process, to which - at his initiative - the CoR is contributing in 2017 in the form of some 135 citizens dialogues organised in over 20 EU Member States, and with the participation of some 150 CoR members.
Last but not least, being the CoR's rapporteur on the 'Reflection paper on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union', he called for advancing swiftly on the proposal for setting up a fiscal capacity for the Eurozone.