Vice-President of CPMR and President of Noord-Holland, Cees Loggen, represented the CPMR at a meeting with Commissioners Oettinger and Creţu, alongside other territorial associations and Members of the Committee of the Regions, on 27 September 2017.

Organised in the framework of the Cohesion Alliance Initiative, the meeting was aimed at discussing the European Commission’s Reflection paper on the future of EU Finances which presents avenues of reform for the EU budget post-2020.

Cees Loggen made it clear that “new priorities emerging and that currently high on the EU political agenda, such as migration or defence, should not mean that the budget of traditional EU policies like Cohesion policy should be cut”.

He reaffirmed the importance of maintaining a strong Cohesion Policy at the heart of a strong EU budget. Mr. Loggen also shared the CPMR views on the EU finances Reflection paper with the Commissioners. A comprehensive analysis of the Reflection Paper carried out by the CPMR Secretariat is available here

EU Budget Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, stressed that the EU budget is under pressure with the Brexit financial gap and new priorities arising. He suggested looking at getting rid of overlaps among EU instruments and policies.

He also mentioned that in the future there are likely to be stronger conditionalities associated to Cohesion Policy. Commissioner Oettinger introduced the idea of in the future having regional specific recommendations within the process of the European Semester.

Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu, announced that the 7th Cohesion Report will be published in early October. During the meeting, she insisted that it was crucial in the coming months to reflect on the future focus of Cohesion Policy, telling attendees that “Cohesion Policy should focus on fewer policy area than it is currently the case”.

Commissioner Creţu stated that Cohesion Policy should be a policy for all EU regions. Finally, she introduced the idea of creating a Single Fund for economic, social and territorial development.

The Commissioners also said that the EU budget proposal for post-2020 should be published by May 2018.

Over the past few months, the CPMR has been working on developing scenarios for a reform of the EU budget. A technical note on the EU budget post-2020 will be presented at the CPMR General Assembly in Helsinki on 18-20 October.