The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) launches its reflection on the future of the European Union Budget focused on a vision of Europe with regions at its core.

At its 45th General Assembly in Helsinki, over 200 representatives from peripheral and maritime regions adopted a policy position asking for a recognition of territorial, social and economic cohesion as a fundamental pillar to address the many challenges facing Europe. These include growing regional disparities, climate change and migration, and the continued disillusionment with the political institutions. 

The CPMR says the only way to deal with these challenges is for the Commission to recognise Regions as powerful assets and allies, and to work with them to show citizens across Europe why the EU matters, create growth across all of Europe’s territories, and build stability on Europe’s borders. Cooperation and partnership should be key principles underpinning the European project.

CPMR President Vasco Cordeiro, said: “In 2017 there has been a more positive shift towards a pro-EU agenda for reform, but we must remain vigilant and we cannot be complacent. “

“If positive reform of the EU is to be achieved, then the European Institutions must recognise that regions are pivotal to overcoming the many challenges facing Europe, including the democratic deficit.”

The CPMRs vision makes clear that Cohesion Policy should cover all European regions and include all five ESI funds, in particular the European Social Fund.  Europe needs a Cohesion policy that addresses convergence and unlocks the potential for sustainable economic growth in all of its territories.

CPMR Secretary General, Eleni Marianou, said: “In this policy position we launch a strong defence of Cohesion policy, as the EU’s most important investment policy for growth and jobs. Any future vision of the EU must include economic, social and territorial cohesion as a fundamental pillar, supported by a strong budget.”

The CPMR will present its policy position on the Future of Europe to President Juncker on 7th December, ahead of December’s European Council, where EU Heads of State and Government are expected to adopt conclusions on Europe’s future.

Note for editor:

The CPMR and its 160 member regions call for a vision of Europe where:

  • Regions are key to solving Europe’s challenges and addressing democratic deficit;
  • Territorial, social, environmental and economic cohesion is a fundamental pillar of any vision of Europe, and Europe needs a new Strategy for 2030 to focus this;
  • Cooperation and partnership are at the heart of Europe, and need European level leadership combined with the dynamism and drive of regions on the ground, focused on working together to address Europe’s key challenges;
  • Regions have an important role to play in Europe’s neighbourhood and international development work, in helping to build stability on Europe’s borders.

See photos from the event.