In view of the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027, the European Commission presented on 29 May 2018 the so-called Common Provisions Regulation (CPR), which aims to set out common rules for seven shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund+, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa Instrument.
Today the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) Commission for Territorial Cohesion (COTER) adopted by unanimity the corresponding opinion co-drafted by the President of the PES Group and President of the Umbria Region (Italy), Catiuscia Marini (PES/IT), and by Michael Schneider (EPP/DE), President of the EPP group and State Secretary for European Affairs of the Land of Sachsen-Anhalt (Germany).
"Building on the principles of the Cohesion Alliance, we consider that the Commission proposal can be substantially improved. We worked in the interests of our communities and territories to bring forward a new proposal, that we hope will help the European Parliament's work and strengthen the future of the cohesion policy. This is a policy that can bring the EU closer to our citizens, particularly in times when it is challenged by populists," said Catiuscia Marini.
This adoption of the text follows a large consultation with stakeholders and exchanges with the rapporteurs of the European Parliament, Constanze Krehl (S&D/DE) and Andrey Novakov (EPP/BG), and paves the way to the decisive votes in the European Parliament.
With 57 legislative amendments to the Commission proposal and 29 recommendations, the CoR puts forward a clear vision on the future of cohesion policy, including the following priorities that reflect the position of the PES group:
- Maintaining cohesion policy for all regions: less-developed, transition and more developed regions;
- Keeping rural development (EAFRD) in the family of cohesion funds (ESIF), to guarantee an integrated approach of the structural and investment funds in rural areas;
- Opposing the recentralization of the European Social Fund+ and strengthening this fund as integral part of cohesion policy as one of the main policies directly benefiting European citizens;
- Avoiding cuts to cohesion funds to support other non-cohesion programmes, such as the Reform Support Programme;
- Opposing macro-economic conditionality. Cities and regions cannot be held hostage of the Member State's compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact;
- Increasing the funding for technical assistance;
- Simplifying even further the programme management, by maintaining also the n+3 rule, to reduce the excessive burden on regional or local authorities are using these funds on the ground;
- Ensuring that there are no cuts to interregional funds in the CPR, for their strategic importance in the development of these areas.
President Marini concluded her intervention by saying: "Local and regional authorities are the appropriate level to take decisions on cohesion policy when this concerns local actions. We have to oppose top-down, capital-based approaches and need to ensure that the multi-level governance is guaranteed."
The draft opinion will be presented for final adoption at the CoR's December plenary session.
1⃣ Strengthen ESF+ as integral part of cohesion policy
2⃣ Maintain rural development EAFRD in the cohesion funds' family pic.twitter.com/3vEEtGBgPn
— PES Group CoR (@PES_CoR) 24 octobre 2018