As Heads of States and Governments met in Brussels to discuss progress on EU budget negotiations and Brexit on 17 and 18 October, the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, reunited for its 47th General Assembly in Palermo (Sicily, IT), delivers a strong call to the European Council to support an ambitious budget and to hold up to European Territorial Cooperation.
- Strongly believes that an ambitious European Union should be supported by an ambitious budget and unreservedly restates its support to the European Parliament position for a Multiannual Financial Framework based on Member States contributions fixed at 1.3% of their Gross National Income (GNI) and the introduction of new own resources.
- Urges the Council to defend and protect Cohesion Policy as one of the main pillars of the European project. Cohesion Policy must not be the ‘sacrificial lamb’ of EU budget negotiations.
- Alerts the Council, once again, that a late agreement on the EU budget would have calamitous consequences affecting the start of funding programmes under shared management, many of which are managed or delivered in partnership with regional authorities.
- Stresses its position that the European Territorial Cooperation budget should represent at least 3.5% of the overall budget for Cohesion Policy.
- Urges the Council to stick to its position regarding the architecture of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) to guarantee maritime cross-border cooperation programmes and to avoid disruption regarding programme scope and geography for post-2020 programmes. The door should remain open for cooperation between regional stakeholders in the European Union and in the UK as part of ETC programmes following Brexit.