Europe’s peripheral and maritime regions have adopted a position paper stressing that the EU’s Cohesion Policy is vital to economic growth across all of Europe’s territories, and must be strengthened to meet the changing priorities of the EU.
160 Member Regions from the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) have come together to state that Cohesion policy must be modernised and shaped to be at the heart of a reformed European Union.
Given the critical juncture facing the EU project, including the rise of Euroscepticism and Brexit, the CPMR member regions have stressed that Cohesion Policy is not a mere funding pot, it is a policy anchored in the EU Treaties to bridge regional disparities and create growth and jobs, making it more important than ever.
Therefore, the CPMR and its regions urge the European Commission to develop a long-term European strategy for investment combining the joint strengths of Cohesion Policy and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI).
The CPMR also calls on the Commission for major changes to simplify for beneficiaries and managing authorities and ask for a common set of rules for all five European Structural and Investment Funds.
Enrico Rossi, CPMR Vice President, and President of the Tuscany region, said: “The EU post 2020 Cohesion Policy should focus on the reduction of regional disparities and be central to the EU investment and growth policy.”
Cohesion Policy is vital to achieve EU objectives across Member States and Regions. In that respect, ex-ante conditionalities are crucial to link regional strategies with EU priorities. Smart Specialisation Strategies are major drivers of innovation and growth in the regions according to peripheral and maritime Regions.
Nicholas Martyn, Deputy Director-General for DG REGIO, European Commission, said: “We welcome the views of CPMR and the peripheral and maritime regions it represents, and we look forward to working with them and hearing their voice in the discussions ahead on the future of the EU’s Cohesion Policy.”
The CPMR member regions adopted the policy position during the CPMR General Assembly, taking place in the Azores, Portugal, from 2-4 November. To find out more visit the CPMR website.