The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) has today published extensive new evidence showing the need for a strong territorial dimension for post-2020 Cohesion Policy. 

The evidence includes analysis of the territorial dimension of the Juncker Plan (EFSI), a study on the experience of CPMR member regions of the European Social Fund (ESF), which the CPMR considers to be a key element of Cohesion policy post-2020, and a projection of the eligibility of the regions in the Cohesion policy, using the latest Regional GDP statistics.

The evidence has been released by the CPMR to inform the Policy Position it will present to its member regions for approval at its Political Bureau, being held on 22 June in Stavanger, Norway. The evidence is as follows:

The CPMR briefing note Does the EFSI have a territorial dimension? analyses the territorial dimension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Five maps have been developed to compare the distribution of the EFSI and Cohesion Policy funds (ESI funds), geographically and sectorally, based on the public list of EFSI projects financed so far. The analysis show there is no distribution logic (in terms of geography or type of sector supported) to the EFSI. This contrasts with ESI funds distribution which follows the objective of Cohesion Policy to address regional disparities.

The CPMR recommends that the European Commission should establish clear boundaries between the EFSI and Cohesion Policy in the future. Specific measures should also be introduced to enable less developed regions and specific territories, such as islands and outermost regions, to access EFSI financing better.

The CPMR study ‘European Social Fund 2014-2020 & the Youth Employment Initiative: the experience of CPMR Member Regions’ presents the results of a CPMR survey, supported by Emilia-Romagna Region, to get feedback from member Regions on their experience of the European Social Fund programme for 2014-2020 and Youth Employment Initiative. The survey collected CPMR members’ feedback on how they envisage the role of the ESF within the future Cohesion policy.

The survey found that the ESF programme has an essential territorial dimension that mirrors areas of regional competence, greater coherence is needed between the ESF and the European Semester, and more flexibility for regional authorities will lead to efficiency in ESF implementation. The CPMR recommends that ESF programmes should be managed at regional level, there should be greater flexibility in the areas of intervention of the ESF to ensure alignment with regions’ needs, and the territorial dimension of the ESF should be reinforced.

The CPMR has produced new projections for Cohesion Policy eligibility. The map projection (WATCH VIDEO) shows what Cohesion policy eligibility would look like if it used the latest set of regional GDP statistics (average of 2013, 2014 and 2015), compared to the Cohesion Policy eligibility for 2014 – 2020, as agreed in February 2013.

The result is that 34 regions would change category, of which 11 would move up one category and 23 would fall to the lower category. At the level of the Member States, the regions of southern Europe are the most affected by these declines: 22 of these regions are in Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, and Portugal. The projection demonstrates that most regions in Central and Eastern European Countries are showing sustained growth, whilst many Southern EU Member States are falling further behind, particularly Spain and Greece.

CPMR VIDEO: Projection of the eligibility of the regions in the Cohesion policy, using the latest Regional GDP statistics: