On 23rd March, local and regional leaders of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) gathered together in Brussels with the rapporteur of the European Parliament Jan Olbrycht to discuss about the Cohesion Policy after 2020.
After several discussions on shortenings in the EU budget, what strongly emerged is that the Cohesion Policy should not become marginalized. On the contrary, its strategic role should be maintained and reinforced to persevere in achieving the target of cohesion, namely the reduction of regional disparities in EU. What does it mean? It means to provide EU’s citizens with an improved and balanced quality of life in all the regions, and especially along the borders that are often marginalized. This is fundamental to do not erode the single market and trusty relations among the States and to preserve Europe from an increasing nationalism.
Mieczysław Struk, president of Pomorskie Region (Poland), gave his contribution with a draft opinion on The cost and risk of non-cohesion: The strategic value of cohesion policy for pursuing the Treaty objectives and facing new challenges for European regions .
Despite Brexit and the consequent debates on EU budget, the EU Parliament is calling for support after 2020 for the Common Agricultural Policy and the Cohesion Policy, trying to avoid cuts in the budget and to maintain the current level of spendings. The wish is to support regional development through the ERDF, ESF and the Cohesion Fund. Furthermore, it emerged a need to improve programs like Horizon 2020, COSME, YEI, Erasmus + and LIFE + to strengthen cooperation for economy, competitiveness and youth opportunities. But these are not the only sectors that would need an improvement if it is considered the migration crisis and how to deal with security and defence.
CoR called for a “budget that supports a Europe closer to its citizens” and for a future Cohesion Policy as “pillar of the EU’s future”.
You can read the entire article here: http://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Pages/There-is-no-future-for-Europe-without-solidarity.aspx