IMG_0358Enrico ROSSI, President of Tuscany and Vice-President of the CPMR, together with Pierre KARLESKIND, Vice-President of Brittany responsible for European and Maritime Affairs, participated in the meeting of the Committee on Regional Development at the European Parliament.

The two members of the CPMR political Bureau were invited by the President of the Committee, Iskra MIHAYLOVA, to present the CPMR and its main messages on Cohesion Policy and to exchange their views with the members of the committee.

The Cohesion Policy objective, legally speaking, as enshrined in the EU treaty, is to reduce regional disparities of development within the EU. However, over time, the policy has become a “do it all” policy which serves to: reduce regional disparities within Europe, deliver on the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy in all regions and act as a conditionality instrument for the EU economic governance framework. If we have to cope with these increased investments we must be prepared to increase the resources allocated to this policy and therefore revise upwards the whole EU budget,” declared Enrico ROSSI, calling also on the European Parliament to be more involved in the distribution of the structural funds during the next negotiation of the EU budget.

The CPMR representatives also focused on the renewed political priorities of the European Commission, namely the Juncker Plan. “I warmly welcome the emphasis President Juncker has placed on the need to address the severe lack of investment in Europe, but I would like the Juncker Plan to be an instrument that complements Cohesion Policy and not one that replaces it. With the CPMR, we will be weighing up the successes and limitations of the financial instruments, and I take this opportunity to ask the REGI Committee to work with us to understand what sort of place they should take in the future of regional policy,” declared Pierre KARLESKIND.

The CPMR called on the European Commission to ensure better coordination between the Cohesion Policy regulations, country-specific recommendations, partnership agreements and operational programmes and by inviting DG REGIO to play a greater coordinating role with regard to preparing and implementing the operational programmes.

During the same meeting, held on 17 June 2015, the members of the REGI Committee also exchanged views with Corina CREŢU, Commissioner for Regional Policy. The Commissioner informed them about the latest developments in the implementation of the new generation of Cohesion Policy, including the adoption of the remaining operational programmes for the 2014-2020 period.