New Arquitecture for Cohesion Policy 2014-2020:
After having submitted its budget proposal for Cohesion Policy during the period 2014-2020 on 29th June (see AEBR article on http://www.aebr.eu/en/news/news_detail.php?news_id=101, the European Commission has adopted a draft legislative package which will frame cohesion policy for 2014-2020. The new proposals are designed to reinforce the strategic dimension of the policy and to ensure that EU investment is targeted on Europe's long-term goals for growth and jobs ("Europe 2020").
A main issue are the Partnership Contracts to be agreed between the Commission and Member States in order to commit to focussing on fewer investment priorities in line with the EU2020 objectives. The package also harmonises the rules related to different funds, including rural development and maritime and fisheries, to increase the coherence of EU action.
Shortly before the Open Days, the Commission made public these draft proposals and they occupied the centre of the discussions. Please find some updates and first reactions of the AEBR:
During the negotiation of the future Structure Fund regulations between the Commission and the Parliament, the main conflict is caused by the concentration in some objectives previously defined (the 11 thematic objectives), and the minimum quotas for these objectives. The REGI Committee of the Parliament considers it too rigid (22-23 November). This seems quite contradictory with the Commission’s call for flexibility.
Macroeconomic conditionality is another source of debate, as Structural Funds could be part of the solution for countries with budgetary problems. There are other question marks: the performance reserve (5% of the fund), the “delegated acts” procedure, ... So, REGI will keep on the discussions during its final meeting in this year, on 19-20 December.
This debate was also present at the Informal Meeting of Ministers responsible for EU Cohesion Policy (regional policy), territorial and urban development, chaired by Ms. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Polish Minister of Regional Development, took place on 24-25 November in Poznan. They also ask for more flexibility to take into account the needs of the different regions. Particularly intense was the position of the Committee of the Regions. Here you can find the final version of the documents prepared by the Polish Presidency with the hope to give an impulse to the ongoing discussion about the future EU policies in particular Cohesion Policy.
These documents were widely consulted and discussed - first at the meeting of Directors General (3-4 November 2011) and finally at the Informal Meeting of Ministers - with Member States and the European institutions.
1) Polish Presidency Conclusions on the territorial dimension of EU policies and the future Cohesion Policy -Towards an integrated, territorially differentiated and institutionally smart response to EU challenges: http://www.aebr.eu//files/filemanager_files//news/Presidencies/PRES_PL_Conclusions__final.pdf
2) Roadmap towards promoting and enhancing an integrated, territorial approach based on the Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020: http://www.aebr.eu//files/filemanager_files//news/Presidencies/PRES_PL_Roadmap_final.pdf
The implementation of the Roadmap shall be monitored by NTCCP (Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points) and UDG (Urban Development Group) networks. The Polish Presidency recommends that the Ministers responsible for territorial development should assess the Roadmap once a year.
Conference INTEGRATED APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT - A KEY TO SMART, SUSTATINABLE AND INCLUSIVE EUROPE
A Polish Presidency’s event took place on 24 November 2011 in Poznan as a part of the Informal Meeting of Ministers responsible for EU Cohesion Policy (regional policy), territorial and urban development. The discussion during the Conference clearly showed the importance of an integrated approach while planning development on local, regional, national as well as European level. It has also clearly proved that there is a need for extending the debate on the Cohesion Policy post 2013 beyond its traditional stakeholders in order to find new arguments and new ideas that could strengthen the role and place of Cohesion Policy among the group of EU policies.
(article under –permanent- update, 29.11.11)