The President of the CoR PES Group, Catiuscia Marini, warmly welcomed today the adoption of the European Parliament's report on Building blocks for a post-2020 EU cohesion policy, led by S&D Group member Kerstin Westphal (Germany).
"Europe's first priority must be to fight rising inequalities and the lack of cohesion. I therefore warmly welcome Kerstin's report which calls for strengthening European Structural and Investment Funds and for the development of additional indicators to complement the GDP when measuring progress in our regions. This result shows once again that our two political groups are strong allies. Moreover, our Group fully supports the report's opposition to macro-economic conditionality, a rule which risks to hardly penalise regions by allowing for the freeze of European Structural and Investment Funds in countries where national governments fail to comply with budgetary consolidation commitments taken under the Fiscal Compact", she pointed out.
Commenting on the adoption of her report by a large majority (350 votes against 149), Kerstin Westphal stressed that "The European Parliament made it clear today that EU citizens want the cohesion policy to continue its action to reduce disparities across the EU and support inclusive and sustainable growth in all regions. At the same time, we are all aware that, in the forthcoming months, the Brexit impact and the hard negotiations on the next EU budget risk to weaken this policy, reducing its capacity to support EU citizens and businesses. This is why, together with the European Committee of the Regions, we will need to mobilise and involve all stakeholders and beneficiaries in making visible what cohesion policy means for our communities, ensuring that the voice of our citizens, of our regions and cities, is heard in Brussels and in capital cities. By working together we can pave the way for a strong, flexible, visible and easy to use cohesion policy, helping the 27 to deliver inclusive growth and tackle crucial challenges such as climate change and migration."
The two sister Groups will continue to advocate a strong and effective cohesion policy post-2020 at a seminar on 'Investing in Europe, investing in people – the future of European cohesion policy", to be jointly organised in the framework of the 'Together' initiative on 15 September in Valencia, and which will be preceded by the PES Group's extraordinary Group meeting on "European investments at local and regional level".